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Problems Faced by Non- State Universities in Zimbabwe


Due to expansion of higher education in Africa, non-state university operation has increased. In Zimbabwe, there are currently six non-state universities that are operating under a Charter; this is half of the total number of state universities in the country, hence their service is of significance to the country. This study examined the challenges these non-state universities face. The researcher took the advantage of a meeting for non-state universities called for by the responsible Minister in the capital on a similar issue. Each university was represented by all faculty deans and one lecturer per faculty, N=38. Data was collected during presentations by university representatives and during discussions with the minister through notes taking. Additional information was collected from the universities representatives after the meeting. Findings revealed infrastructure problems, lack of resources, economic challenges, limited research, poor corporate governance, low enrollment, poor condition of service for lecturers and staff and lack of grants for students as major challenges. The study recommends that the non-state universities should re-examine their operations in this changing world; ZIMCHE should work towards standardization of degree programs and grading systems in order to allow easy transfers of students to other universities; the government should monitor discrepancies among lectures and staff condition of service; it should also apply tax exemption to non-state universities on importing institution related assets, also, the mother-churches should fund their universities to alleviate financial constraints and they should not interfere unnecessarily with the running of the universities.


non-state university, higher education, challenges, charter

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