The aim of higher education is to equip learners with high level intellectual, professional and managerial capacities necessary for high level performance. Higher education offers opportunities for decision makers, professional cadres and for leaders in private and public sectors to acquire new development skills, innovations and ability to make informed decisions. It also provides opportunities to engage in life long learning and to conduct pertinent research in areas of interest. It is also a fountain for a wide spectrum of knowledge and skills needed for national development. Similarly, in order to remove a mismatch between higher education and the world of work, higher education should establish relationship with private business and industries to include sharing of knowledge, apprenticeships and financial support.
Higher education is provided in one government and two private institutions. These are the State University of Zanzibar, the Zanzibar University and the University College of Education. The State University and The University College of Education provide courses in languages, social sciences, and general science with education. The Zanzibar University provides courses in law, sheria and business administration.
There are also a number of Zanzibar students pursuing courses in Tanzania Mainland universities. In addition there are opportunities for higher education provided through the Open University of Tanzania and outside the country.
By March 2004, the three institutions in Zanzibar had a total enrolment of 948 students, of whom 207 (or 21.8%) were girls.
- Establishment of the State University of Zanzibar.
- Existence of a conducive environment for the establishment and expansion of private institutions of higher education.
- Increased opportunities for Zanzibar students to join higher education in Tanzania.
- Existence of the branch of the Open University of Tanzania.
- Increased opportunities for local experts to teach at university level.
- Increased cooperation with other Universities in Tanzania and oversees.
- Local universities have attracted a good number of foreign students.
- This level of education still remains inaccessible to the majority of learners especially female students.
- The number of faculties and programmes in the existing institutions is limited.
- Limited funding and facilities deny many students access to higher education.
- Shortage of full time qualified tutors.
- Low utilization of information communication technology for teaching, administration and for research.
- Government shall encourage public and private sectors to expand access to higher education, respond to the diversified socio economic demands and expand the frontiers of knowledge.
- Special efforts shall be made to raise the participation rate of Zanzibaris in higher education including taking affirmative measures to increase enrolments of female students and those with special needs.
- Universities shall strive for quality to meet market demands and for intellectual excellence and become instruments for national research and development.
- Universities shall develop outreach programmes.
- Higher education institutions shall establish a credit unit system to provide for more flexibility and for transferability of students among institutions to allow for individual student's interest pursued at his own pace.
- Programmes and courses offered at higher education institutions shall be reviewed, streamlined and rationalized for cost-effectiveness.
- Higher education institutions shall employ advanced information technologies to link faculties and specialized schools for multimedia course delivery and for administrative functions.
- Developing demand driven higher education programmes.
- Providing incentives and support to the private sector to establish institutions of higher learning.
- Maximizing utilization of institutions of higher learning.
- Promoting and encouraging distance and open learning at higher level.
- Encouraging staff development programmes.
- Promoting learning, connection and interaction with the external world through establishing ICT hubs.
- Providing support to major economic activities in the country to fuel social economic growth and wealth creation.
- Establishing Centres of Excellence.
- Establishing a board that will coordinate programmes and will assess all matters pertaining to higher education.
- Harmonizing academic standards and linkages within institutions of higher learning both in and outside the country.