Professor Zvobgo’s track record in academic leadership and university development is outstanding. After the devolution of Gweru Teacher’s College into the Midlands State University in 1999, Professor Zvobgo became its founding Pro Vice Chancellor for 13 (thirteen) years. This unbroken period of sterling service to institution and country is a record that will take many years to beat. It also demonstrates his diligence, institutional commitment, loyalty and patriotism to his country and people. His achievements during his stint at the Midlands State University include:
• Curriculum development in line with current trends and innovations in university education
• The modular system of teaching which allows students more flexibility and a wider range of course offerings to choose from
• Linking programmes of study to employment and entrepreneurship
• Incorporating work related learning as a training strategy to combine theory and practice
• Introduction of the parallel degree programme to boost enrolment and the revenue base of the university
• Creating linkages with other universities in the Region and beyond
• Setting up international programmes for the recruitment of foreign students and staff
• Resource mobilization for university development
• Participating in the development and construction of the university’s physical infrastructure.
All this was over and above the standard administrative work of a Pro Vice Chancellor, who had heavy responsibilities as chairperson or key member of several committees of Senate and Council.
Professor Zvobgo worked in leadership positions at a number of tertiary education institutions, starting in 1981 as a Principal Lecturer in Charge of the Zimbabwe Integrated Teacher Education Course (ZINTEC) in the Midlands province for one year. The following year, he was elevated to Vice Principal of Mkoba Teachers College, a position he held for five years until 1987 when he moved to Masvingo Teachers College as Principal and stayed for one and half years. After that, he served as Principal of Mutare Teachers College where he spent another seven years from 1989 to 1995. He then moved to Gweru Teachers College where he served as principal for four years and subsequently became Pro Vice Chancellor when the college was transformed into a university.
Professor Zvobgo has dedicated his working life to the development of higher and tertiary education, something that developed quite naturally from his studies at a number of universities between 1971 and 1980. During that ten year period, Professor Zvobgo acquired four degrees, starting with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in English at the University of Dehli, which he completed in 1974. This was followed by a Master of Arts degree in English at the same university, which he completed in 1975. He then did the Master of Philosophy degree at Jawaharlal University in India from 1976 to 1977, before moving to the United Kingdom where he did the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education at the University of Edinburgh between 1977 and 1980. In addition to these degrees, Professor Zvobgo also did the Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Zimbabwe and a Certificate in Educational Administration at the University of Toronto in Canada.
His track record as a productive scholar in the field of education at college and university levels is equally impressive. Professor Zvobgo is an internationally respected research scholar who has authored several books. He has won two awards from the Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association for his writings. To pick just three titles, one from each of three decades of research and publication, these books include Transforming Education – The Zimbabwean Experience (1986), State Ideology and Education (1997) and The Organisation and Administration of Primary and Secondary Education in Zimbabwe (2007). In addition, Professor Zvobgo has published several scholarly articles in refereed journals; he has attended and presented papers at many international conferences and he has done a number of consultancies over the years.
A list of the accolades received by the Vice Chancellor of Great Zimbabwe University, Professor Rungano Jonas Zvobgo on behalf of the University and on his own behalf.
1. The Zimbabwe Institute of Management First Runner Up Manager of the Year Award- Education Sector, Bulawayo, 2012.
2. The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Overall Transformational Leader of the Year Award 2012, Gweru.
3. The LASOF Career and Leadership Legacy Builder Award, Harare, 2013.
4. The Megafest Top 20 Outstanding men in Business Personality Award, Harare, 2013
5. The Majestic Five Continents Award for Quality and Excellence and The Total Quality Management (TQM) Aptitude Seal for Quality Performance and Best Customer Satisfaction, Geneva, Switzerland, 2013.
6. The Best Regional University Award, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2013.
7. The Manager of the year Award, European Association of Rectors, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2013.
8. Admission of the Vice Chancellor into the European Club of Rectors and attainment of lifetime membership of the Oxford Academic Society, 2014.
9. The Certificate of Membership to the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2014-2015.
10. The Greatest Contribution to Education, World Congress of Chancellors and Vice Chancellors, Mumbai, India, 2014.
11. Board Membership of the World Congress of Chancellors and Vice Chancellors 2014-2018.
12. Megafest Award for the Best Training and Development Institution, Bulawayo, 2014.
13. Megafest Award – 2nd Runner-up Top twenty (20) Outstanding Men In Business, Special Recognition for being a living legacy, 2014.
14. Zimbabwe Business Council Awards- Best University 2014.
15. Zimbabwe Business Council Awards- Vice Chancellor of the Year 2014
16. Best Quality Leadership Award 2014, Las Vegas USA
17. The Global Award for Perfection Quality and Ideal Performance, 2014, Berlin, Germany.
18. Zimbabwe Institute of Management Southern Region 1st Runner Up Manager of the Year 2014 in the Public Sector Category.
19. Zimbabwe Institute of Management National 1st Runner Up Manager of the Year 2014 in the Public Sector Category.
20. Global Award for Perfection Quality and Ideal Performance, 2015, Paris, France.
21. Total Quality Management (TQM) Aptitude Seal for High Quality Performance and Best Customer Satisfaction, Paris, France.
22. Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) Zimbabwe Service Customer Service Executive of the Year in the Public Sector, 2015.
23. Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) Zimbabwe Service Excellence Awards Customer Service Excellence Award in the Education Sector 2015.
24. Masvingo City Council Quasqicentennial Awards- Outstanding Contribution to Masvingo- Great Zimbabwe University, 2015.
25. Masvingo City Council Quasqicentennial Awards- Outstanding Contribution to Masvingo- Professor R. J. Zvobgo, 2015.
26. Africa Education Leadership Awards, Education Leadership Award, Mauritius, December 2015.
27. Megafest Top 20 Outstanding man in Business, 2015, special recognition in good leadership strategies, 2015.
28. Megafest Top 20 Outstanding organization, 2015. Fastest Growing University.
29. Megafest, Vice Chancellor of the year, 2015, March 2016.
30. Masvingo City Council Civic Honours for Outstanding Contribution Towards Education and Outstanding Training Development and public work in Masvingo over a period of many years.
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