From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
The Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) is a distance-education university in Harari, Zimbabwe.
Established in 1999, it is considered the primary distance education university in the country. Student enrolment at ZOU has been growing steadily since its formation, and in terms of enrolment it is the largest university in Zimbabwe.
The ZOU main office is in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Open University has three faculties under which the academic programmes are conducted. It operates in all the 10 provinces of the country.
In 2007 the university had a total enrolment of 19,676 students of whom the majority were Zimbabwean nationals. 88% of them were working towards undergraduate degrees/diplomas, the rest postgraduate and masters degrees.
They have struggled to achieve their goals for many reasons:
- Infrastructure constraints.
- Lack of its own premises.
- Inadequate libraries.
- No broadband Internet connectivity.
- Institution’s financial sustainability is being damaged by the current hyperinflation coupled to fees that are regulated by the state.
The course delivery methods include print media, compact cassettes, video cassettes, telephone, fax, e-mail, CDs and radio broadcasts.
The Zimbabwe Open University web site is at http://www.zou.ac.zw/