University of Zimbabwe

University of Zimbabwe


In 1980, the University College of Rhodesia was renamed University of Zimbabwe and in 1982 the Royal Charter granted by the British Government was replaced by an Act of Parliament.

The University of Zimbabwe Act was controversially amended in 1990, giving the government more powers and, according to many faculty, students and observers, attacking academic freedom.

The late 1980s and most of the 1990s saw a rise in student protest resulting in several closures and mass expulsions. As the 2000s began, the university struggled to meet lecturers’ and professors’ expectations on salary levels, leading to numerous strikes.[Many donors, including the Government of Sweden, which had previously been a major financier cut or cancelled their aid.

As the economic crisis grew in Zimbabwe, the university began to fail to recruit lecturers and professors to fill vacancies. By 2007, the shortage of staff was preventing the teaching and examination of some programmes. Problems with water and electricity supply, as well as maintenance of infrastructure became critical. The decline of UZ culminated in the university’s failure to re-open for the 2008–2009 academic year.

The University briefly opened in early 2009, but no classes were held due to strike action by lecturers. The institution was closed again in late February, following demonstrations by students against new, hard currency fees. However, the university continues to run today.


  • James Gavin
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