The Directorate of Distance Education and Open Learning (DDEOL) previously known as Centre for Lifelong Education (CLLE) was established as a Department under the Institute of Consultancy, Applied Research and Extension Studies (ICARES) in December, 1990.  Its main functions then were to run short courses, seminars, and conferences.

The need was felt for it to be autonomous due to the increasing demand for University education by the wider membership of the society.  The Centre became an independent Department in January 2001 and has significantly developed offering courses ranging from Certificate to degree level programmes.

The Directorate which assumed its new name in August 2009 also engages in a variety of programmes that include seminars and workshops besides offering academic programmes through part-time face-to-face programmes and distance learning programmes as well as through affiliation of selected colleges.


To provide quality education that is accessible to the nationally dispersed clients.


To deliver quality education to meet the current and future needs of Zambia and its citizenry by:-

  • Developing and coordinating policy, funding, planning and provision of tertiary education in consultation with stakeholders and in partnership with the other providers, local and international;
  • Ensuring that infrastructure is of acceptable standards and that there are adequate teaching and learning materials;
  • Attracting and sustaining a qualified, professional and motivated staff and
  • Monitoring and evaluating educational standards.


  • To offer adequate and effective programmes geared towards meeting the needs of working adults and the ever growing population of school leavers for remedial and vocational education. 
  • Organize regular on-the-job vocational and professional training for different categories of workers and professionals in order to improve and up-date their skills.
  • Offer informal schooling for those who need additional training to get into productive or self-employment.
  • To facilitate, coordinate and administer part-time programmes, short courses, distance education, external examinations, seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Identify popular courses that are in high demand and that may be offered on part-time basis and explore the possibilities of offering them in distance mode.
  • Liaise with commerce and industry on their training needs with a view to designing ‘tailor-made’ programmes to address those particular training needs.