Study in Zimbabwe

Are you searching for a suitable country to pursue your higher studies? Are you surprised at your friends or relatives prefer Zimbabwe for studies? Are you curious to know about the country in details? If yes, then all the details including studies, universities, visa, etc can be obtained from below.

Zimbabwe has different groups to look after basic and higher education. The primary and secondary education is under the jurisdiction of the ministry of primary and secondary education whereas the higher education is under the management of the ministry of higher and tertiary education, science and technology development. Both the groups are regulated by the Cabinet of Zimbabwe.
The primary and secondary education has 13 years and the session runs from January to December every year. The school session includes 40 weeks with 3 terms and then a month break between each term.
In the year 1980, the primary education became free and compulsory for the citizens of the country.
Below mentioned are the different stages of education in Zimbabwe-
Early education-Early education includes preschools and is directed by the Early Childhood Development (ECD) system which works under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary education. This early childhood education is available for the kids from 3 to 5 years of age. As it is one of the priorities for the country, Zimbabwe has expanded ECD by offering it at primary schools and around 98% of primary schools are having ECD centers with trained teachers.

Primary Education-The primary education in Zimbabwe is having 7 years duration from grade 1 to grade 7. The primary schools in urban areas teach in English but the schools in rural areas teach in their local native languages like Shona or Ndebele. The curriculum of primary education includes Language, Art, Mathematics, and contents. At the end of the grade 7, students need to appear in a national level examination in mathematics, English, Ndebele or Shona and a general paper for topics related to social science, religious education and environmental science.
Although the secondary school is compulsory and for all, the performance in this examination will decide the type of education student will get. The private or religious schools require well-performing candidates whereas the rural public schools usually allow mass admissions regardless of the performance in this examination.

Secondary education-The secondary education is not government funded so the parents have options to enroll their kids in private boarding schools, day schools or government boarding schools by paying the prescribed fee. The secondary level education is having two cycles namely the General Certificate of Education or Ordinary Level for four years and the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level or Advanced Level for two years.
This level of education includes Mathematics, Science, English, Ndebele or Shona, History and Geography. The first step is to clear the ordinary level examination after 4 years of secondary education in grade 11. Students are expected to pass at least 5 subjects including English, Science, History, Mathematics and practical subjects like agriculture and woodwork. The performance of a student decides his or her achievement and determines selection for “A-Level” schools and employment status.
After this, the students have an option either to go for A-level secondary education or they can attend the teacher training, agricultural, technical, nursing or polytechnic college. To enroll in A-Level education, Advanced Level Certificate Examination after 6 years of secondary education is compulsory which is administered by the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council. This A-Level exam is mandatory for enrolling in universities in Zimbabwe.

Vocational education-Vocational training includes practical skills training courses and programs regulated by the Ministry of Education and Technology at different state and private vocational training centers. These centers are located in the major urban hubs. The Polytechnic training colleges are offering advanced skills training required for employment in the technical field.

Tertiary education-The tertiary level education is managed and operated by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary education. This level of education includes universities, polytechnic, technical and teacher training colleges, and various vocational training centers. The Tertiary education was started by the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the year 1957. Then the National Council for Higher Education for established in the year 1990 to ensure the quality of higher education in the country. In 2006, The Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) formed as another level of regulation to take care of accreditation and quality of universities. There are around 9 public, 5 private registered universities, 8 polytechnic colleges and two industrial training colleges in Zimbabwe.

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About Zimbabwe

Officially “Republic of Zimbabwe” is known as Zimbabwe in general. It is completely enclosed by land only and its coastlines also lie on closed seas. That’s the reason it is also known as “Landlocked country”. It is located in Southern Africa and is surrounded by Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Mozambique.
The capital of the country is Harare which is also the largest city of Zimbabwe. There are around 16 official languages including Shona, English, and Ndebele.
The country is having the central government which is divided into 8 provinces and 2 cities having provincial status. Each of the provinces is also having provincial capital responsible for government administration. These provinces and cities are Bulawayo (Capital- Bulawayo), Harare (Capital- Harare), Mashonaland Central (Capital- Bindura), Manicaland (Capital- Mutare), Masvingo (Capital- Masvingo city), Mashonaland East (Capital- Marondera), Mashonaland West (Capital- Chinhoyi), Midlands (Capital- Gweru), Matabeleland North (Capital- Lupane District), and Matabeleland South (Capital- Gwanda). The government in provinces is run by Provincial Administrators and these are appointed by Public Service Commissions. The provincial offices of National government departments take care of other government functions at a provincial level.
The main exports of Zimbabwe are Gold, Minerals and agricultural products. Tourism also plays an important role in the economy of the country.

Quick Facts

  1. The capital of Zimbabwe is Harare which is also the largest city of the country.

  2. There are 16 official languages of the country which are Chewa, Chibarew, Kalanga, English, Koisan/Tsoa, Ndau, Nambya, Shona, Ndebele, Shangani, Tonga, Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa, sign language, and Venda.

  3. The total area of the country is 390,757 sq kilometers.

  4. The population as per the data collected in the year 2016 is 16,150,362.

  5. The currency of Zimbabwe is not one and United States dollar is considered as an official for a government. South African rand and other currencies like Botswana pula, Chinese renminbi, Euro, pound sterling, Zimbabwean bond coins, etc are used as a proxy for US dollar and cent coins.

  6. The calling code is +263 and the ISO 3166 code is ZW for Zimbabwe.

  7. The internet TLD is .zw.

  8. Zimbabwe is considered as a young nation and the reason is half of the population of the country is below 21 years of age.

  9. It is also considered as one of the smartest countries in Africa because 90% of the population of the country is well educated.

  10. As the country has multiple currencies in use, one can buy product prices in South African rand, pay for it in euros and can get the change in US dollars.

  11. The life expectancy of the country is the lowest in the world. The men live slightly longer than women at 37 and 34 years of age respectively.

  12. One of the Airlines of Zimbabwe- Air Zimbabwe does not have seatbelts on the seats and they force their passengers to use their belts as seat belts.

  13. It is illegal to sell the products with the colors of the national flag of the country in Zimbabwe.

  14. This country has the largest diamond and platinum reserves in the whole world.

  15. The largest man-made lake- Lake Kariba is located in Zimbabwe, near to Zambian border.

  16. Men with large stomach are wealthy as per the consideration of the country. The large stomach is a sign that the person is financially good and can eat meat on daily basis.

  17. In Zimbabwe, the brand names do not matters and for them, all the soft drinks are “coke” and all the kinds of toothpaste are “Colgate”.

  18. Divorces are not legal in the country and the relation can be dissolved only by death.

  19. The police are allowed to check the driver’s license only and it is illegal to seize or hold on a vehicle on road in Zimbabwe.

  20. This country has one of the highest inflation and unemployment rates in the world.

Admission Process in Zimbabwe

For admission in any of the Zimbabwean university, the process is almost similar. You just need to finalize the course and the university in which you want to pursue the same. Once it is done, you can check the admission deadlines and requirement on the website of that particular website and can move further sticking the deadlines.

Below are the steps to be followed-
  1. Download the application form online by paying the prescribed fee for the same.

  2. Read the instruction and collect all the other required documents for application. This may include the language proficiency certificate depending upon the course and university you select.

  3. Fill the form and submit with all the documents.

  4. Once your application is accepted, you will receive an intimation with details information and deadlines to pay the tuition fee, etc.

  5. After paying the tuition fee, you can start with your student visa application.

Student Visa Application Process

If you are planning to pursue your higher studies in Zimbabwe, the student permit visa is the very important requirement for you. If you are a citizen of U.S., then, in general, there is no visa requirement but then the visit must be only for tourism purpose.
In Zimbabwe, there are 3 categories of Visa available as below-
  1. Category A:This category involves the citizens from the countries that do not require the visa to enter Zimbabwe and they get easy entry at any border post.


  2. Category B:In this category, the citizens get their Zimbabwe Visa at the part of entry after payment of visa fee. These visas are easier to obtain on arrival and are reasonable. If you want to get it done through an agent, it will cost you higher for sure.


  3. Category C:This group includes countries whose citizens require to apply for Zimbabwe visa prior to traveling. It can be done through a Zimbabwe High Commission in the native country itself. Another easier option is to apply online.


On the basis of no. of entries, the Zimbabwe visa can be of following types-
  1. Single entry visa which allows you to entry Zimbabwe only one time and as soon as so exit, the visa cannot be used again for entry purpose.

  2. Double entry visa is for double entry in the country. Its validity is up to 90 days from the date of issue and can be used for 2 times entry and 2 times exit. After that, it cannot be used further even if the validity is still there.

  3. Multiple entry visas cannot be obtained at any port in the country. The easy way to obtain this visa is to enter the country on Single entry visa and then get it converted into multiple entry visas from the town office. It usually takes around 7 working days. There is a possibility that your request may get declined for the same. It is advised to used single entry visa or double entry visas if you want to enter the country 3-4 times and get it reissued as per your requirement.


Visa FeeVisitors from the category A and B need to pay for their visa at the port after arrival. It is advised to keep the cash while traveling as the credit card machines are not at all reliable. The fee for single entry visa is around US$30, for Double entry visa it is US$ 45 and for multiple entry visa, it is US$55. There is no relaxation in terms of visa fee for infants and children and they also need to pay the full visa fee.
All it was the general information regarding Zimbabwe visa, but below are the specific details about student visa/ student permit for Zimbabwe.

Student Permit/ Student Visa

International students who are willing to study in Zimbabwe need to apply for the study permit at the Zimbabwean Embassy or mission nearest to their native place and it must be done before traveling to Zimbabwe in their native country only. Without this study permit, no student is allowed to register in any of the Zimbabwean university as a student. Although it is possible to get the visa application processes on arrival in Zimbabwe at the discretion of the Immigration Department, it is advised to get or secured the permit before departure for Zimbabwe. In case of visa or permit on arrival, students need to get a temporary permit at the point of entry and hat is given for the fixed period of time during which the student permit must be obtained by the student.

How to apply for student visa

Below are the steps one should follow to get the student visa for Zimbabwe-
  1. Before placing the application, you need to check about which visa you will require. As you are planning to pursue your studies in Zimbabwe, you will need a study visa. Then you need to check the duration of the course and then you can place the application accordingly. You need to fill the form BI-1738 and submit the same.

  2. Once the form is filled online, schedule an appointment at the application center is a mandatory step. Please note that the application should not be submitted 90 days prior to your date of departure. A service charge needs to be paid while scheduling an appointment and it can be paid online. Take print out of both eth appointment confirmation and fee payment receipt and take it along with you at the time of appointment. Please carry all the documents in original for verification purpose.

  3. Now, you can go for the scheduled appointment. There you will need to show the appointment confirmation letter at the reception. After that, you will get a token. Then you will be called at submission counter and your application and all the documents will get scrutinized. Your passport and photograph will be checked for validity.

  4. After submitting the application, you need to wait for the decision made by the Embassy. It usually takes 1 month if the documents are submitted properly.

  5. You can track your application online using the reference number you received on the day of appointment.

  6. Once the visa application is approved, the applicant receives a confirmation SMS for the same and a date on which he or she can collect the visa.

The student visa fee is US$37 which is non-refundable. An additional fee of US$75.00 is also there as a service tax charge which needs to be paid at only at the Visa Application Centre. Two options are also there- A special delivery facility for the return of passport at the cost of US$10 and SMS facility for updates at the cost of US$2. Both of these services are optional and if chosen, the fee is to be paid at the visa application center.

Lifestyle

The lifestyle of every country differs and it is very important if you are planning to settle in another country to know about the lifestyle of that particular country in advance. Below are the details for Zimbabwe lifestyle and culture the citizens following there-

Social life-

It is a responsibility of the mother to nurture their kids. If a mother is absent due to any reason, a female relative can take care of them. If a kid loses his parents in an incident, the father’s family needs to take care of that kid. The children get to socialize with other elder children of neighbors and extended family and get a strong bond with mothers. The family teaches to respect an elder which is very important in Zimbabwe. Girls are supposed to help their mothers in the house chores from the age of 6-7 years. Boys of that age learn to herd the livestock in rural areas.

Marriage-

Marriages are considered as a key that ensures the survival of the family and its continuation in the next generation. People follow the same tradition as we have in India that the female will move to the husband’s house after marriage. An exception is there in Tonga people where the husband moves to wife’s home after marriage.
Marriages are of two types- Customary and civil. Customary marriages are mostly polygamous and are legal for black Zimbabweans only. This kind of marriage does not have an option of divorce.
The civil marriages are monogamous and are very common.
In arrange marriages, the groom needs to pay the cost of the bride to marry so that the bride and kids can belong to him after marriage.

Healthcare and Medicine-

Zimbabwe has an access to modern medicines but the traditional treatments are also in use. For them, minor ailments and serious illness are distinct and get treated accordingly. Minor ailments get treated by herbal medicines while the serious illness is considered as an inflict by angry spirits so get treated by the consultation of n’anga who are very much respected in society for their counseling skills for treating psychiatric and psychological problems.
The country also has healthcare system including clinics, district hospitals and teaching hospitals in big cities like Harare and Bulawayo.

Art-

Artist are respected in the country, especially in cities. There are some training centers also for teaching various art forms. Some of these centers are nongovernmental organizations, some are self-run and some are cooperatives. Sculpture art is famous in Zimbabwe and the Tengenenge has produced many famous Shona sculptors. The country has very high competition in Sculpture and some other women tradition craft like pottery, mats, etc.
Apart from this, the country has many famous writers and literature is also kept its important place as an art.

Holidays-

There are only 2 secular celebrations in the country- Independence day that is celebrated on 18th April and Heroes Day that is celebrated n 11th August every year.

Sports-

Football is the most popular game in the country. It is also known as Soccer. Rugby union is another famous game in Zimbabwe and has represented the country in Rugby world cup tournaments 2 times. Cricket is known only among the white minority.
There are 8 Olympic medals won by the country among which only 1 is in the field of hockey and other 7 are in swimming.
Games like netball, basketball, water polo, squash, chess, kayaking, etc are also played in Zimbabwe but at a lesser extent.

Cost of Living for Students

The cost of living in Zimbabwe is not very cheap but varies depending upon many factors like a number of members in a family, lifestyle of a family, eating habits, etc. There are certain factors which decide the average cost of living and are explained as mentioned below-

Accommodation cost-Although Zimbabwe is a poor country, the things are very expensive there. The accommodation will cost differently depending upon the location and size of the apartments. The 1 bedroom apartments inside the city will cost around US$350 where the same sized apartment outside the city will cost you hardly US$250. The cost of rented 3 BHK apartments ranges from US$650 to 540.00.
Other utilities like electricity mobile bills and internet are also not very reasonable and will cost you around more than US$200.00 for all.

Groceries-Groceries are cheaper in supermarkets than in regular shops but still, it is comparatively costly. One liter milk is available at US$ 1.40, eggs at US$1.90. Cheese at US$12 per kg and water is available at the cost of US$ 1.20/1.5lit.

TransportTransportation is again a bit costlier as the gasoline is 1.30USD per liter. The public transport has options for monthly pass available at 30USD per month. Private taxis are also available which are considered reasonable than owning a car.

Documents for University Admissions in Zimbabwe

The documents required for the student visa/ permit for Zimbabwe may vary depending upon the home country of the applicant and the university he or she has applied but the main requirement of documents is as mentioned below-
  1. The first requirement is of a Residence permit application form (IF5) that too completely filled and attested by a Commissioner of Oaths. This application form can be obtained from the nearest Zimbabwean Embassy of the Department of Immigration offices in Harare.

  2. A letter of acceptance from any of the Zimbabwean university is again a mandatory requirement to obtain the student permit.

  3. Then the proof of accommodation is required. For this, an undertaking by the institution to provide accommodation can be submitted.

  4. A proof of payment of the fee is to be submitted. So do not forget to get the receipt or save the payment advise once you pay the fee.

  5. A copy of birth certificate or a passport biodata data page needs to be submitted. One can submit them both to avoid any issue at a later stage.

  6. 2 recently clicked passport size photos are required.

  7. A chest X-ray report also needs to be submitted with the study permit application.

For study permit extensionBelow is the list of documents required for getting the extension of study permit-
  1. A letter from the university mentioning about continuity of studies is required to visa or permit renewal.

  2. A fee of US$200.00 is to be paid for student’s permit application. This fee is fully non-refundable and once paid cannot be refunded.

  3. A copy of previous term or last semester results are also required to get the extension of the study permit.

All the above-mentioned documents are in broad terms and it is better to submit every detail required to get the permit issued without any problem.

Top universities in Zimbabwe

Although there are many universities in Zimbabwe, below are the top universities which are in the preference list of the international students for higher education.
  1. University of Zimbabwe (UZ)-It got established in 1955 as a non-profit public higher education institute. It is located in the urban area of Harare. It has some branch campuses in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. It is recognized by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Zimbabwe. It is a large co-educational university with yearly enrollments of around 15000.
    This university is involved in research and teaching degree, diplomas and certificates in different streams like agriculture, arts, social studies, medicine, engineering, commerce, veterinary sciences, etc. All the courses are accredited by the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education.

  2. Midlands State University (MSU)-It started in the year 2000 as a non-profit public higher education institute and is located in the town of Gweru, Midlands. It is accredited by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Zimbabwe. It is a Co-educational university with around 15000 enrolments. It is offering various registered degree course including bachelors and masters degrees in different fields like Science and Technology, Law, Commerce, Education, Natural resources management and Agriculture, Social Science, etc.

  3. Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT)-It is holding the 5th rank in the country and is founded in the year 2001. It is located in the large town of Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West. It is again a non-profit public higher education institute and supports co-education. It offers various graduate and post graduate degree course and doctorate degree courses in various fields.

  4. Harare Institute of Technology (HIT)-It started in the year 1988 in the city of Harare as a non-profit public higher education institute. It secures 8th rank in the country and 10557th rank in the world. The university is accredited by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Zimbabwe. It is a small university with around 3000 students and is supporting the co-educational culture. This university is considered as a hub of technology development and offering excellent technology courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

  5. Women's University in Africa (WUA)-It is a private higher education institute established in the year 2002. It is located in the rural area of Harare city. It was founded by Professor Hope Cynthia Sadza and Dr. Fay King Chung. The university is having other campuses in Bulawayo, Marondera, and Mutare. Satellite campuses are located in Malawi and Zambia. This university is the only women’s university and is currently having 3 faculties- Agricultural Sciences, Social and Gender Transformative Sciences and Management, and Entrepreneurial Sciences. The timetable of the classes is very much flexible to support the women education and the classes are conducted on regular days, evening classes, holiday clocks, and weekend classes. Pen distance learning modules are also available in this university.

  6. Solusi University (SU)-It founded in the year 1894 and secures the 9th position in the country. It is a private university situated in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North. It is a small university initially affiliated with the Christian Adventist religion. It is a co-educational institute.

Apart from these above-mentioned universities, there are many other educational institutes like National University of Science and Technology, Lupane State University, Reformed Church University, Africa University, Zimbabwe Open University, etc which are attracting international students for higher studies every year.

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