Zimbabwe Open University appeals for diploma recognition


THE Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) has appealed to employers to accept hundreds of Early Childhood Education (ECD) diploma holders, who graduated from the institution before the programme was discontinued after deregistration of a partner school, Elephant Colleges.

By Senior Reporter

ZOU’s appeal came in the wake of complaints by diploma graduates that their qualification was not being recognised by the Civil Service Commission, making them jobless for the past four years after attaining the diplomas.

ZOU spokesperson Ndai Nyamakura confirmed the graduates’ dilemma, saying the institutions had introduced a number of mechanisms to remedy the situation.

“For those that have completed their studies and were graduated with the institution we would like the prospective employers to recruit them as qualified personnel because our chancellor (President Robert Mugabe) capped them,” Nyamakura said.

She added that ZOU discontinued the programme after the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education delisted Elephant Colleges from its list of accredited tertiary institutions.

“The problem arose when a partnership we had with Elephant Colleges collapsed after the college was closed down because it did not meet requirements set by the council,” she added.

Some of the graduates told NewsDay that they were being treated as semi-skilled by the Education ministry.

“Since 2010 when I graduated, I have been employed as semi-skilled teacher by schools and my salary came from the school development committee,” said one disgruntled graduate.

“The teaching profession is better off employing these ECD diploma holders than students who have just completed their Ordinary Level.”

Many students have recently started studying for tertiary qualifications with open and distance learning institutions as conventional colleges were overwhelmed by students.


  1. I can see people struggling with negative perceptions towards ODL here. Having experienced both conventional and ODL modes of education, I can testify that ZOU is producing high quality graduates just as other conventional varsities and in many cases far better graduates compared to those coming from the so called reputable conventional institutions. Unfortunately, these negative perceptions seem to be harboured by a good number of the decision makers @ ZIMCHE. People need to change these perceptions and start giving ZOU the respect it deserves. Look at the way ZOU administers its exams for example, its far more credible compared to the way its done by many of our local conventional institutions

    • The issue is not about all ZOU graduates but its ECD graduates only. For sure if the colleges that ZOU partnered with did not meet minimum standards expected of a tertiary institution, there is need to reject the graduates. I feel should have fully inspected its affiliate before partnering a bogus institution. The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education has closed a big number of such colleges. ZOU gave a raw deal to its students in this case. STANDARDS CANNOT BE COMPROMISED BECAUSE SOMEONE SAW MONEY IN PLACE OF PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS.

  2. no offence but i will not employ a ZOU graduate no never….u r gng there to just get degrees pasina zvamuri kuita…..useless degree…..why not go to UZ or other recognised learning institute….kana wafunga kudzidza wotodzidza mhani…shame shame shame

  3. iwe ZOU yakadhakwa. how many ZOU graduates are now in better jobs. Some have masters but up to nw they are languishing in poverty. Tsvaga basa woti une degree reZOU uone kana uchitorwa ipapo. Vane madegree eZOU vakangwarira seni vanonoita masters nemaconventional institutions then u can be counted as a recognised graduate. Svinurai. Imari iri kungodyiwa takatarisa. i feel sorry for my fellow comrades especially teachers for they are really trapped in this endemic environment

    • so why president caps Zou graduate and more those conventional universities scrambe for zou modules .you need deliverance man

  4. Iiii, ZOU ma1. inotoda vakadzi madofo ayeeee vane varume vane mari vongoitawo degree zvezita kuti mumba muite chiremera.

    • what makes u so sure that their degree programmes are not good enough. have u checked out their module contents and their processes.
      dont blindly judge.

  5. Open and distance learning is the future of education as technological advancement happens, it is not only sustainable economically but it enables education to reach all corners of the country, ODL graduates are not only responsible and professional because they learn on their own and do their own research, they are also mature. The misconceptions about ZOU are unfounded as the ZOU model enables one to learn at the same time applying the acquired theoretical background to real life situations as compared to conventional education where one only learns and masters theory and then needs further training after graduating..

  6. Its not about ZOU asi kuti economy ndiyo yakadhakwa. The so called pace setting universities r producing gradutes who are still jobless years after they have graduated. Isu vamwe titori pama good jobs neiroZOU degree ramunoshora. Gadzirisai economy before you start blaming the education system

  7. its simple if you score 15points you wont go to ZOU but UZ.
    To be @ ZOU its short cut. Either you have to be avarage to dull.
    An avarage person learning on his own guarantee. Half baked product.
    Our education is almost usesles worse @zou. There is no industry to put into practice thats why us employers want ACCA; IMM etc these qualifications are manufactured in countries were industry is not @ stone age like ours and everything updated. Sure what will Zou add to my firm.

    • lets not rush to such conclusions carry out a proper research into ZOU degree programmes its contents and all. wat satisfies a person as dull to start with. Zou also helps out some pple with very good points who cannot afford to go the convectional way as they study and work at the same time. such pple are better pple to employ if u really had a firm because they dont just come with theory but experience too.

  8. ZOU partnering with another college to me does not make sense Zimche was right in not recognising the course because ZOU is represented in all regions of Zimbabwe and can therefore represent itself with no need for a third party such as this college therefore i suspect this partnership was a ZOU insider job to use the reputable ZOU name to loot innocent prospective ZOU students therefore also defrauding ZOU.

    Whoever is at the helm at ZOU is discrediting it because ZOU had established itself as a leading institution but in the last few years it seems its stuck in the mud a sign of poor leadership. Else studying with ZOU is worth it and as said above mixing distance education with conventional is an excellent strategy for example have first degree conventional and them get masters such as MBA from ZOU.

  9. zou is a recognised qualification in zimbabwe. most zou graduates are experienced and they learnt whilst working in the field unlike the conventional university students who only go for a year attachment of which vanenge vachingobika tea till the end of attachment. which company would employ a fresh graduate and then spent 2 years mentoring him? today’s companies employ experienced pple. vekumaPoly varinani

    • kkkkkkkkk…..zvarwadza. If ZOU offers standard programmes, why that counseling thing was discontinued? The fact of the matter is ZOU is still miles behind the acceptable standards. Instead of blaming other, it should be working flat out to iron out those issues

  10. I did not have an opportunity to go to a conventional university, for a number of reasons, mainly lack of fees. I got employment and saved money. I studied with ZOU because I wanted to get the same qualification as anyone who obtained it through UZ, CUT, MSU. etc. Anoda mukana wekuita chikoro neZOU ngaaite. Degrees from Zimbabwe national universities, including ZOU, are conferred by the same Chancellor. The ZOU route is for those with self drive to get to the top.

  11. I surprised nevanhu vanoshora ZOU, like what has been said the degrees are confered by the same Chancellor, vanhu ndimi munozvishaisa mega credibility kumabasa. Most universities in Zimbabwe use the same modules dzepaZOU , munoda university kwamunopinda muexam maonera paper ramuchanyora hamunyare, its foolish to compare a non conventional and a conventional university , if you are found doing this hausati waziva skuru.

  12. I think it is pointless to appeal for a change in attitude towards ZOU. I think at this point the gvt can maintain the curriculum but rebrand ZOU completely ; perhaps place under UZ or some other institution. call it e.g UZ College of distance education

      • Makasara vaMhoff. Tht rebranding has already bn done. ZOU used to be what u referred 2 as UZ College of Dist Edu. Saka imwe rebranding yamakuda hatichaiziva. The govt has done tht already. Taura zvecontinuous monitoring of th programmes to make sure they conform to th standards. Vanhu vakajaira kudictaterwa manotes and tgey say thats a better form of education. Studying with ZOU calls 4 someone who is disciplined and mature ane self drive 4 achievement. Akatadzawo kuenda kuconventional for 1 reason or another kwete kuti they are intellectual rejects

  13. some are just going to universities for the sake of going. You may say ZOU what what bt even here in Zim we select degrees on the basis yekuti which university offered that degree. I work for an international consultancy firm and to tell you the truth we do not give first preference to degrees from MSU,CUT .We realize those with diplomas through ACCA,CIMA,IMM,CIPS, etc way ahead

  14. That person who calls himself Baba Dee is in fact the Nyamakura who is in charge of public relations at ZOU. Wanyangira yaona. Not many people outside ZOU, by the way, would use the word ODL. Cheap stuff.

  15. One person has killed ZOU. His name is Daniel Ndudzo, the Registrar. He got close to Dr Primrose Kurasha, the Vice Chancellor, when he was teaching at one of the ZOU centres in Mutare. Ndudzo, who has stuffed the university with members of his mapostori church, used to take Kurasha to the vapostori to solve her social and medical problems. They then became friends. That is why he rose from being a mere teacher with a dubious degree in management to being the most powerful man at the institution. He feeds her with lies and has turned her against the ZOU top management. Ask the likes of Gabriel Kabanda, a Pro Vice Chancellor, and one PJ Ndekwere who is no longer with the university and they will tell you the truth. There is much suspicion at the university. If you visit the university today, you will see small stones thrown by Ndudzo and his vapostori in the corridors and at the doors. Ndudzo used to be a mere signals man in the army and joined ZOU as a lieutenant. He lied to all that he was a captain and used to call himself that. Because he is shallow, he is suspicious of everyone who gets close to Kurasha, who cannot do anything because she knows he holds a lot of her secrets.

  16. Ana UZ, NUST, MSU.. etc zvazvuru zvakapinda nyoka kudhara now the levels of education yadhakwa. wonder y mashefu achiendesa vana vavo kunze kwenyika.

    • Comrade ndimi mega mataura zvine sense. Why do these SHEFS always send their kids kune ma universities e dzimwe nyika? Why vasinga endesewo vana vavo kunana ZOU? Pamwe ZOU ingaite chiremera!

  17. The irony of the matter is that ZOU lecture materials are largely written by UZ experienced lecturers.

    Colleges like UZ also provide the bulk of the part time lecturers at ZOU.

    ZOU’s intake are largely mature people who have seen it all. Those who want to shun ZOU recognition are just doing that due to a hidden agenda. I challenge University of Zimbabwe students to an open open debate with ZOU students in any field on an open forum and you will see the difference.

    Continue doing the great job you are doing ZOU.

  18. if degrees 4rm AU are not all that recognised wat more bout ZOU…if some1 argues these so called ZOU are =lly bright then why did they fail to enrol with MSU, UZ, NUST and wat not.

  19. Makasara vaMhoff. Tht rebranding has already bn done. ZOU used to be what u referred 2 as UZ College of Dist Edu. Saka imwe rebranding yamakuda hatichaiziva. The govt has done tht already. Taura zvecontinuous monitoring of th programmes to make sure they conform to th standards. Vanhu vakajaira kudictaterwa manotes and tgey say thats a better form of education. Studying with ZOU calls 4 someone who is disciplined and mature ane self drive 4 achievement. Akatadzawo kuenda kuconventional for 1 reason or another kwete kuti they are intellectual rejects

  20. ndoda kupindura vose vanoti ZOU haiite. ini ndakadzidza ne ZOU uye ndiri kushanda basa rinemusoro hupenyu hwangu huri kutoendeka imi muchitadza kudzidza muchingoti ZOU haiite. Musanyeperwe nana Baba Jukwa. Kana uchida kudzidza, dzidza ndonguva yacho iyoyi. NeZOU zvinoita!

  21. Comment…l consider content and l have scrutinised Zou modules for accounting .I was comparing them with those of other universities such as MSU,NUST,CUT,ACCA modules ,ICAZ and CIMA .I am also using them for my professional studies .I think Zou is one of the best universities we ever had in Zimbabwe .

  22. I lyk ZOU but i really dont know why it offers degree to individuals with O level qualification

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