Education was declared a basic human right by the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, and as such, all children in the country have the right to education even though most people send their children to independent schools. Today, the country is leading Africa in adult education with a literacy rate of about 90%, a little over Tunisia at 87%. Zimbabwean education system used to be the most developed on the continent, but it continues to suffer from a contemporary decline in public funding linked to hyperinflation and economic mismanagement.

University education which was first introduced in 1959 in Zimbabwe, is regulated by the Cabinet of Zimbabwe through the  Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland which is now called the University of Zimbabwe was the institution which introduced tertiary education in the country. The country’s educational system had risen from a small circle of institutions with little entries to multiple tertiary establishments and massive enrollments, following her independence in 1980.

However, the era of multiple institutions comes with its own challenges which include poor infrastructures, poor quality assurance system which encourages the prevalence of incompetency among academic staff. Massive enrollments which became the order of the day has also led to lower admission standards leading to a production of half-baked graduates and further ruination of the tertiary institutions’ image in Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, some schools prudent and principled to the core, still fly the flag of high standards, excellence, and competence; these have been compiled to make up a list of Zimbabwean best universities.

These continuous problems affecting the education system, and the entire country, have certainly played on the result of the latest university ranking in Zimbabwean, Africa and the world at large.

Note that, this recent ranking was done by Webometrics based on four vital composite indicators which include their Presence, rate of Impact, Openness and Academic excellence. Take a quick glance below to see 12 Zimbabwean Best Universities and their world rankings:



1. University of Zimbabwe (World rank: 1538)

2. National University of Science & Technology (World rank: 4571)

3. Midlands State University (World rank: 4699)

4. Bindura University of Science Education (World rank: 5159)

5. Africa University (World rank: 6775)

6. Chinhoyi University of Technology (World rank: 7586)

7. Great Zimbabwe University (World rank: 10061)

8. Zimbabwe Open University (World rank: 11691)

9. Harare Institute Technology (World rank: 12463)

10. Women’s University in Africa (World rank: 14222)

11.  Lupane State University (World rank: 15422)

12. Solusi University (World rank: 16468)

Based on another list compiled by 2015 University Web Ranking, the results for Zimbabwean best universities looked a little different. Take a look:

1. University of Zimbabwe

2. National University of Science and Technology

3. Africa University

4. Midlands State University

5. Women’s University in Africa

6. Bindura University of Science Education

7. Great Zimbabwe University

8. Solusi University

9. Chinhoyi University of Technology

10. Harare Institute of Technology

11. Catholic University in Zimbabwe

12. Lupane State University

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See Which Zimbabwean University Made It To The List Of 15 Best Universities In Africa According to QS World University Rankings for 2018

In the African ranking, a total of zero Zimbabwean Universities made the list. Always note that the ranking was done based on four very relevant factors which include their Presence, rate of Impact, Openness and Academic excellence. Check out the Countries and Universities that made the list.

1. University of Cape Town (World rank: 191)  South Africa

2. Stellenbosch University (South Africa): Climbing 34 places Stellenbosch now ranks 361 in the world as of 2018.

3. The University of Witwatersrand (South Africa): South Africa’s Wits is placed at 364 this year.

4. The American University of Cairo (Egypt): The fourth best university in Africa goes to The American University of Cairo in Egypt, coming 395th in the world.

5. Cairo University (Egypt): The Egyptian university is 10th in Arab rankings and 481-490 in the world ranking.

6. University of Pretoria (South Africa): The South African university has risen to the 501-550 range in the world.

7. University of Johannesburg (South Africa) Joburg’s University ranks 601-650 in the world.

8. Ain Shams University (701-750 in the world) Egypt

9. Rhodes University (701-750) South Africa

10. University of Kwazulu Natal (701-750) South Africa

11. Alexandria University (751-800) Arab

12. Makerere University (801-1000) Uganda

13. North-West University (801 -1000) South Africa

14. University of Ghana (801-1000) Ghana

15. University of Nairobi (801-1000) Kenya

Many may be surprised to see that none of the Zimbabwean best universities made the list. This then pops the big question – What is wrong with the Zimbabwean system of education? Obviously, there is so much room for improvement in the country’s system. More needs to be done for tertiary institutions in the country in terms of funding, quality assurance, infrastructure and in many other areas.