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Great Zimbabwe University At A Glance




Brief History of the University

The Great Zimbabwe University, then known as Masvingo State University, was established through the recommendations of the Chetsanga Report of August 1995 which proposed the devolution of Teachers’ and Technical Colleges into degree awarding institutions that would eventually become universities in their own right.

The University was launched in June 1999 as the Masvingo Degree Programme of the University of Zimbabwe. Professor Obert Edward Maravanyika was appointed as the first acting Pro Vice Chancellor and identified the university’s niche as the reading of arts and culture related studies in performing, visual, literary and digi/electronic arts.

In 2000, the Masvingo Degree Programme was upgraded to a University College of the University of Zimbabwe.On December 22 2002; Masvingo University College became Masvingo State University established by an Act of Parliament Chapter 22.24 No.11/2002. In March 2004 Masvingo State University enrolled its first group of Bachelor of Education Early Childhood Education and the Bachelor of Education Primary Pre-Service degree programmes.

In September 2004, while addressing Traditional Chiefs at the Great Zimbabwe Monuments, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde R.G. Mugabe indicated the need for a state institution of higher learning named after the Great Zimbabwe Monuments. The institution would derive inspiration from the symbolism of the national shrine in determining its special niche. Its curricula would focus on heritage studies, arts and culture but without abandoning those areas that are required for human resource training for overall national development.

In January 2006, the Masvingo State University hosted the International Conference on the Transformation of Masvingo State University to Great Zimbabwe University under the theme: Reclaiming National and Cultural Heritage in Higher Education: Situating the Humanities and Creative Arts in Local Contexts. In July 2007, the Masvingo State University Amendment Act (2007) was passed in Parliament paving the way for Masvingo State University to be renamed Great Zimbabwe University adopting the name of the former Church university.

On August 2 2007, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde R. G. Mugabe was installed as the founding Chancellor of the Great Zimbabwe University while Professor O. E. Maravanyika was installed its first Vice Chancellor. More than one thousand students from across the University’s four Faculties became the first group of graduates to be capped at the University.

Soon after the installation and graduation ceremony, His Excellency, the President and Chancellor conducted a ground breaking ceremony at the 1000 hectares main campus site near the Great Zimbabwe National Monuments where the world class mega African university campus will be constructed.

In October 2007, Great Zimbabwe University and the University of Venda (UNIVEN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), paving the way for the teaching of the Venda and Shangani languages at Great Zimbabwe University in March 2008. UNIVEN was to avail lecturers for the teaching of these two languages.

On 9 October 2008, the Dzimbahwe Arts Festival (DAF), a unique multi-disciplinary festival that showcases performances and productions in visual arts, literary arts, culinary arts and performing arts, research and academia, hosted by the Great Zimbabwe University annually, was launched.

August 2011, a new Great Zimbabwe University Council chaired by prominent lawyer, Mr Simplicius J. Chihambakwe was appointed to steer the continued growth and expansion of the University.

October 1 2012, Professor Rungano Jonas Zvobgo was appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of Great Zimbabwe University.

October 2012, The University re-aligned and re-engineered its entire curriculum to suit its culture enhancement and heritage focus by including 2 modules, namely Culture Studies and Heritage Studies in all undergraduate programs. All undergraduate programs were upgraded to 4 year honors degrees. October 4-6 2012, Great Zimbabwe University hosted the 39th Annual Conference of the Southern African Society for Education (SASE).  It was the first time that the conference was held outside of South Africa.

October 19 2012, Professor Rungano Jonas Zvobgo was installed as the Vice Chancellor by University Chancellor and President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, President R.G. Mugabe at an Installation Ceremony attended by a crowd of about 5000 people.

November-December 2012, the university announces plans to introduce a multi-campus approach to deal with space challenges by acquiring Gaths Mine in Mashava on a 20-year lease, the N. Richards Building in the CBD of Masvingo, Paramount College, Masvingo A1 Hotel and garage from Chikozho Transport in the industrial area which later become the Works & Estates Department. December 2012, the master plan for Great Zimbabwe University’s world class mega African campus near Great Zimbabwe Monuments was approved by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary education.

January 15 2013, work to renovate buildings at Gaths Mine, Mandava Hotel, and Paramount Academy commences. The renovations resulted in Gaths Mine being turned into Mashava Campus, Mandava Hotel into Mucheke Campus and Paramount College into City Campus.

August 2013 – Great Zimbabwe University receives the first group of international students as 50 Namibians were enrolled.

State of the art Mashava Student Residence Village officially opened by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.

On October 25 2013, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe became the first recipient of an honorary degree from Great Zimbabwe University when Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Jonas Zvobgo conferred him with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in African Heritage and Philosophy for the sterling contribution he has made in the advancement of hunhu/ubuntu.


Vision and Mission


Towards an exceptional Pan African university championing heritage based scholarship and modernisation/industrialisation.



To contribute towards industrialisation and modernisation of society through heritage-based teaching, research and innovation

Core Values

• Unhu/Ubuntu
• Excellence
• Integrity
• Results Focus
• Quality

University Prayer

Our Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe,

Sustainer of  humanity, Source of life, strength and wisdom.  We praise and worship you, eternal and Almighty God.

We pray for this University that it may be development-oriented in pursuit of its vision and mandate.

We pray that you instill in us deep understanding, knowledge, courage and wisdom to effectively uphold the core values of our institution and that its graduands may be an inspiration to our nation and the international community through their technical competences and social values.

Grant us your grace, love, peace and assurance of the Holy Spirit that we may act according to your will, now and forever more


Vice Chancellor

Professor Rungano Jonas Zvobgo is the Great Zimbabwe University Vice Chancellor… Read more

University Logo

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