The itinerant nature of university extension education: An entity of no fixed abode and implications for its development at the University of Zambia
This article is based on a PhD study that sought to explore the contribution of University Extension Education of the University of Zambia to human resource development since 1966. The study was inspired by the lack of a comprehensive documented account on the contribution of Extension Studies to human resource development in Zambia. The objectives included tracing the history of Extension Studies at the University of Zambia from 1966 to 2014; establishing the contribution of Extension Studies to human resources development; and investigating the status and prospects of Extension Studies. The theoretical framework of the study was the technical-functional theory. The target population was 6,200 and included former and current students, part-time tutors, Resident Lecturers and Senior Managers of the University. The sample size was 486 and was selected through probability and non-probability samplings. Qualitative data were collected through document reviews and interviews and quantitative data were collected through questionnaires. Qualitative data was analysed through thematic analysis and quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The study established that Extension Studies has contributed to human resources development in Zambia by graduating approximately 61,251 professionals in different fields of study as of 2014. Furthermore, the research participants expressed satisfaction with the quality of education they received and some of them recommended that the Extension Unit of the University of Zambia should be transformed into an institute to serve the community better. The study concluded that Extension Studies remains an important unit that links the University of Zambia with the community. The study recommended that the University of Zambia should improve its responsiveness to the educational needs of the Zambian society.