Zambia Founded: 2004

About Us

In February 2002 six founding members working with other colleagues from the University of Zambia (UNZA), academic and corporate world thought of establishing the first private University to meet the demand for higher education that had arisen in the country. The founders realized that in 2002 there were 32,000 primary and 7,000 Secondary school teachers with certificate and diploma qualifications in need of University education whose demand could not be met through traditional methods of teacher education. However, education could be brought to their doorsteps through new, flexible methods and approaches. As a result, they decided on an ‘Open University’.

The Ministry of Education prevailed upon ZAOU to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Zambia (UNZA), in order to be recognized and registered under the University Act No. 11 of 1999 of the Laws of Zambia. A number of intensive discussions were held with both the Ministry of Education and the University of Zambia which focused on the modalities of how the new institution would interface with the existing state universities. The MoU which allowed ZAOU to engage the services of UNZA staff and use existing UNZA curricula while reciprocating this with some fees accruing to UNZA was duly signed on 23rd November, 2004. On 23rd December, 2004 the then Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Mulenga registered ZAOU, thus heralding the birth of the first Open University in Zambia.

To be an internationally recognized Open University providing quality education through distance learning.

Mission Statement
A leading higher education provider using creative and innovative learning methodologies aimed at reaching diverse constituencies for promoting social and economic development.

The founders of ZAOU cherish five values summed up in the acronym PHIGS,

PATRIOTISM. It is a commitment of ZAOU and its students to help free Zambia from negative experiences such as poverty, hunger and diseases and make it a better place to live in. This also recognizes the contribution of the founding fathers and mothers to the liberation of the country from colonial bondage

HONESTY. It is based on unconditional trust, free of corrupt tendencies and behaviors.

INDUSTRY or HARDWORK. It is a call to all students and staff to commit themselves to hard work and cherish the perseverance that characterized the hard work that the founders of ZAOU put in to create the university.

GENEROSITY. It is a desire of ZAOU to give back something to the larger society. ZAOU itself is a gift to the larger Zambian society as a treasure of knowledge and wisdom.

SELF-DIRECTIVENESS. It is based on a realization that the onus of learning lies with individual students who must be given guidance in their quest for knowledge and be liberated from any form of intellectual domination in their interaction with one another and their lecturers.