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Confusion over ZOU degrees

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The Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) yesterday refuted reports that government had suspended some of its degree and diploma programmes for being substandard, a development that is likely to further confuse the degree holders and aspiring students.

In a statement yesterday, ZOU said it was engaging the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (Zimche) to establish the basis of the suspension.

“In response to the recent Press statements by the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education, the Zimbabwe Open University would like to inform its students and all its valued stakeholders that on the Master of Science in Counselling (MSc) degree, the Bachelor of Science in Counselling (BSc) degree and the Diploma in Education (Primary), ZOU is engaging Zimche to ascertain the basis for the suspension of these programmes,” reads the statement.

This was in response to a statement by Zimche a fortnight ago where it announced suspension of two degree and three diploma programmes offered by ZOU.

Zimche cited unspecified technical irregularities in the affected programmes.

But, ZOU yesterday claimed it never offered some of the graduate certificates and diplomas cited in the Zimche statement.

“Among the programmes that are being suspended, ZOU has never and does not offer the Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Education (Grad CE).

“Zimche has not yet evaluated both the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education and the Diploma in Early Childhood Development (ECD).

“Your university has since engaged Zimche to establish the grounds for the suspension of these two programmes,” reads part of the statement.

ZOU added that those who obtained the degrees before the suspension would not be affected by the embargo.

Tertiary and Higher Education secretary Washington Mbizvo could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Thousands of Zimbabweans have obtained degrees from ZOU, a distance learning institution.

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