Zimbabwe Open University

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Zimbabwe Open Univerisity

The Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) is one of the local state owned tertiary institutions of learning in Zimbabwe. It was awarded a university charter on the 6th of March 1999 and it thus became a fully fledged university.

A Brief History

The birth of ZOU can be traced from developments which took place at the University of Zimbabwe. The Centre for Distance Education was established by the University of Zimbabwe in 1993. In 1996, this centre was converted to the University College of Distance Education and it was now administered independently. On 6 March 1999, the college received its university charter, transforming it into a fully-fledged university known as the Zimbabwe Open University.[1]

A Regional Approach

The Zimbabwe Open University operates on a regional scale. It has established centres in all the ten provinces of the country.[2] Each regional centre served as the hub for all the learning activities for students in that province: from registration to face-to-face tutoring and counselling, and from assignment administration to a venue for invigilated examinations. These centres dealt with the need for students to travel to the university’s headquarters in Harare, thus substantially cutting travelling costs.[2] ZOU has regional centres in areas such as Chinhoyi, Bindura, Marondera, Masvingo, Lupane,Mutare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Gwanda.[3]

Academic Approach

ZOU offers educational services through open and distance learning approach. It offers degrees, diplomas, certificates and short courses in the respective faculties. As at 2014, ZOU graduated more than 21 000 students who have been churned out into all sectors of the economy.[4]

Registration and Applications

The university invites applications from prospective candidates at the start of each semester. The advertisement for applications are first flighted on the 30th of August every year and on 7th of March of every year.[3] The deadline for the submission of applications completed for August is September while those for the March applications is the 7th of April and 14 April for late submissions respectively. The institution offers tuition for Certificate/Diploma (undergraduate and postgraduate), Undergraduate Degree, Masters by Coursework, Masters by Thesis, MPhil/DPhil. The fee structure is different for Zimbabwean students, those from the SADC region and international student.


  1. Faculty of Arts and Education
  2. Faculty of Applied Social Science
  3. Faculty of Commerce and Law
  4. Faculty of Science and technology[3]


  1. , Zimbabwe Open University SAIDE, Published: 2009, Retrieved: 30 June 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 , Zimbabwe Open University, SARUA, Retrieved: 30 June 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 , ZOU, Zimbawe Open University, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved:30 June 2014 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "zou" defined multiple times with different content
  4. , Zimbabwe Open University, Africa Capacity Alliance, Published: 6 February 2014, Retrieved:30 June 2014