They say a journey starts with a step, so was the case in the formation of the University of Zimbabwe.It started off as a promise for funding worth $20000 from the J.F. Kapnek Trust in 1945 that motivated Manfred Hodson to form the Rhodesia University Association, which formed the foundation of what is now known as the University of Zimbabwe.
It took ten years for the government to formally, adopt the institution establishing the University college of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1955. From then on the construction began funded by grants from diverse organisations with the aim of providing tertiary education to serve the needs of Rhodesian people and neighboring territories.
The University started with the faculties of Arts, Education, Science and Social Studies followed by the Medical School which opened in 1963.In March 1974 the first the first students for a four year honors degree were accepted into the Faculty of Engineering. When Zimbabwe attained its independence in 1980 the name of the University was changed to the “University of Zimbabwe” and in that year the total enrollment of students was 2240.
As the first University in the country the University of Zimbabwe was mandated by the government to incubate new universities across the nation. This led to the formation of six more universities under the directory and assistance of the university staff. These are listed below:
- National University of Science and Technology (NUST)
Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) 1999
Midlands State University 2000
Chinhoyi University of Zimbabwe (CUT) 2001
Bindura University of Science and Education 2001
Great Zimbabwe University 2002
In 2014 the University of Zimbabwe medical practitioners from the College of Health Sciences performed a separation of Siamese twins that were conjoined from the the lower chest to the upper abdomen and shared a liver. This was the very first surgery of such a kind to be done in Zimbabwe operation was successful and the twins have well recovered since then and a two year anniversary was recently held for them in November 2016.
The institution introduced a February intake for incoming students for the first time, this has led to more developments at the university as they are expanding structure wise. 2016 was a year of celebrations for the University and female students as we celebrated the graduation of the first youngest female to ever attend university in Africa. She had enrolled at the university in studying towards a degree in Bachelor of in Accountancy.
To close the year 2016 in style and advancements the University of Zimbabwe formed a partnership with HUAWEI technologies on the fifth of December which saw a leap towards current technology and hence opportunities for the majority of students to learn and taught using recent technology.
And the story will continue in 2017................