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Three-story tan concrete building with trees in front and additional building in the background.

University of Zambia

About the University

Established in 1965, the University of Zambia (UNZA) is a public university in Lusaka, Zambia, and the country's largest and oldest institution of higher education. The university opened with three schools—humanities and social sciences, education, and natural sciences—and has expanded to two campuses and 13 schools, including a Graduate School of Business and schools for agricultural sciences, engineering, law, mines, medicine, veterinary medicine, health sciences, nursing, and public health.

UNZA's mission is to stand as a center of excellence in higher education for individuals, industry, and society by providing quality education, research, and scholarly programs.

The predominantly undergraduate enrollment is about 30,000. Through partnerships, the University of Zambia creates opportunities in the southern African region and a cohesive and collaborative process of research, instruction, and experiential learning.

About UNZA

About the Student Experience

Banana field.

UNZA has collaborations with universities across the world on research, internships, and student exchange programs. They run customized programs according to partner needs that combine experiential learning with coursework in the university. Exchange students can attend classes with local students while also being attached to a local organization for practical work. Learn about international students at UNZA.

IAD Africa Summer Internship Program

The Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies Institute for African Development Africa Summer Research Internship Program reinforces academic learning by providing undergraduates the opportunity to actively engage and conduct research with individuals and organizations directly involved in policy and program development in Africa. Learn more about the program.

Study Abroad in Zambia

Muna Ndulo​ headshot

Cornell Faculty Lead: Muna Ndulo

William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law
Elizabeth and Arthur Reich Director, Leo and Arvilla Berger International Legal Studies Program

"Zambia is at the crossroads of southern Africa. UNZA educates leading thinkers, heads of state, activists, and academics of the region. I am enthusiastic about the collaboration between these two renowned institutions that actively engage in and foster research and knowledge that advance development for the greater good. As a land grant university, Cornell is ably situated as a partner to further research and practice with counterparts at UNZA. Agricultural technology (areas of biofortification and digitized agriculture) and natural resources and conservation (wildlife, tourism, and innovation in mining), are areas of research that will benefit from the partnership."

Research Themes

The university is connected to the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR), an independent educational and development-oriented research center. 

Hubs provide a collaborative platform for thematic research areas based on Cornell's and our Global Hubs partners' academic strengths and local contexts. Research themes being explored at UNZA include:

  • One Health: The Strategic Centre for Health Systems Metrics and Evaluations (SCHEME) researches public health issues.
  • Sustainable Development: The university is part of several organizations focused on sustainability: the Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) consortium that seeks to understand climate change in southern Africa; the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA), a program that trains leaders for sustainable development in Africa; and the Platform for Research, Science, Technology, Innovation, and Development (PReSTID), a multidisciplinary platform that promotes new research on sustainable development in Africa and Zambia. 

Learn About Hubs Research Themes

About the Location

Lusaka, Zambia

Tall glass facade building with a domed building to the side.
The Sun Share Tower in Lusaka is the country's second tallest building.

Lusaka is the capital city of Zambia, located on a high-altitude plateau in southern Africa. The climate is subtropical, with colder winter months in June and July. The urban part of Lusaka—the nation’s government and financial center—is home to about 2.5 million people, making it the most populous city in Zambia. English is the official language, and Nyanja and Bemba are also commonly spoken. Agriculture and forest and wetland industries, including wood products and fisheries, are vital to the national economy and rural livelihoods.