Zim Varsities'Fast Multiplying, But Sub-standard'

Great Zimbabwe University pro vice chancellor, Professor Herbert Chimhundu said while the country boasts of having the fastest growing universities in the whole world, such institutions were not meeting international standards and left a lot to be desired.

Currently, there are 13 universities-most of them run by the state-while two more are on the way from church leaders, Ezekiel Guti,of the ZAOGA, and Nehemiah Mutendi, of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC).

There are also eight polytechnics and eight teachers colleges countrywide.

“Due to a massive lecturer exodus experienced in 2008, many assistant lecturers are teaching honours students, which should not be the case.

At the University of Zimbabwe’s senate board meetings, one can hardly find five professors, whereas there were about 100 before the economy went on a downfall.

“Also, worldwide, universities should dedicate 25 percent of their efforts to research, while the remaining is for teaching students. But there is no university in Zimbabwe near that,” Prof Chimhundu said.

He was speaking to journalists here to brief them of the pending Research and Intellectual Expo (RIE) which is set to be held in Harare from February 16 to 18.

His remarks comes amid reports that the student to computer ratio at the GZU stands at one computer per 300 students.

“There is need to merge the universities. Merging is not even peculiar to Africa. In South Africa, for example, the University of Johannesburg is an amalgamation of all Bantustan Universities.

“Such integration is necessary and it breeds quality,” said Prof Chimhundu.

He also said the GZU is luring Diasporan academics to contribute research papers over the internet.