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University of Zimbabwe

Last modified: 2019-08-06 by bruce berry
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image by Jens Pattke, 08 March 2014

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The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) is the oldest and largest university in Zimbabwe.  It was founded on 10 February 1955 as the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and incorporated by Royal Charter. In 1956 the College entered into a "Scheme of Special Relation" with the University of London which agreed to award its degrees, diplomas and certificates. In 1970 the "Scheme of Special Relation" was phased out and on 01 January 1971 the College achieved full university status and the University of Rhodesia was established which issued its own degrees etc.  Following the independence of Zimbabwe, the Royal Charter was replaced by the University of Zimbabwe Act in 1982.
Bruce Berry, 08 March 2014

The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) has nine Faculties: Arts, Agriculture, Commerce, Engineering, Education, Law, Science, Social Studies, and Veterinary Studies, and of the College of Health Sciences.

The timeline of the history of the university is as follows:

The Legislative Assembly of Southern Rhodesia adopted a motion proposed by Manfred Hodson for the establishment of a university college to serve the needs of Rhodesia and neighbouring territories.

A bill was enacted for the incorporation and constitution of the university. First classes began for some 68 students on a temporary site at 147 Baker Avenue in Salisbury (now Nelson Mandela Avenue in Harare).

The British government formally adopted the institution, establishing the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (UCRN) by Royal Charter. The college was admitted to the privilege of Special Relations with the University of London the following year and in 1957 all activities were transferred to the Mount Pleasant campus.

A phased termination of the university college's associations with the Universities of London and Birmingham began, leading to the achievement of university status as the University of Rhodesia.

The University is renamed University of Zimbabwe after the attainment of independence by Zimbabwe.
Ivan Sache, 08 Apr 2017

University of Zimbabwe flag

image by image by Jens Pattke, 08 March 2014


The flag of the university has a blue field in the centre of which is placed the university's Arms.  The Arms were adopted in 1985 and depict the national symbol of Zimbabwe above an open book (to represent learning) above a representation of the masonry found at the Great Zimbabwe Ruins (see description below).

The blazon is as follows:
Azure, in fess point an open book Argent leathered Gules garnished or ensigned with a mullet of the third fimbriated Argent debruised by the Zimbabwe Bird also Or and a point of the last masoned sable in the fashion of a portion of the wall of Great Zimbabwe all within a bordure Gold.

Beneath the shield is a white scroll with the university motto in black - Knowledge, Diligence, Integrity.

Bruce Berry, 08 March 2014

The Great Zimbabwe National monument was inscribed on the UNESCO World  Heritage List with the following notice:

The ruins of Great Zimbabwe the capital of the Queen of Sheba, according to an age-old legend are a unique testimony to the Bantu civilization of the Shona between the 11th and 15th centuries. The city, which covers an area of nearly 80 ha, was an important trading centre and was renowned from the Middle Ages onwards.

The Great Enclosure, which has the form of an ellipsis, is located to the south of the hills and dates to the 14th century. It was built of cut granite blocks, laid in regular courses, and contains a series of daga-hut living quarters, a community area, and a narrow passage leading to a high conical tower. The bricks (daga) were made from a mixture of granitic sand and clay. Huts were built within the stone enclosure walls; inside each community area other walls mark off each family's area, generally comprising a kitchen, two living huts and a court.
Ivan Sache, 08 Apr 2017