The best universities in Zimbabwe in 2022 (latest ranking)

The best universities in Zimbabwe in 2022 (latest ranking)

The Zimbabwean tertiary education sector is operated by the country's Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. This sector includes teacher training colleges, polytechnics, technical training institutions, colleges, and universities. These institutions of higher learning play a vital role in getting graduates ready to join the economy. Which are the best universities in Zimbabwe, and how do they rank in Africa and the rest of the world?

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ranking of universities in Zimbabwe
Graduates in the official graduation apparel. Photo:, @marowile
Source: UGC

Like in other countries, the ranking of universities in Zimbabwe changes every now and then depending on the progress each institution has made since the previous ranking. Let's look at the top 20 universities in Zimbabwe.

The 20 best universities in Zimbabwe

Here is a look at the Zimbabwe university rankings in 2022.

20. Zimbabwe Open University

  • Country rank: 20
  • Rank in Africa: 921
  • Rank in the world: 13844

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The institution is a state open distance education university in Zimbabwe. The institution was established in 1999 and is currently the only distance-learning facility in the country. The institution's enrolment has been growing over the years. ZOU is currently Zimbabwe's largest university in terms of student enrollment.

19. Southern Africa Methodist University (SAMU)

  • Country rank: 19
  • Rank in Africa: 911
  • Rank in the world: 13301

The Southern Africa Methodist University is a tertiary institution located in Harare. It was developed as a project of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and is among the several church-affiliated institutions of higher learning in the country.

18. Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences

  • Country rank: 18
  • Rank in Africa: 812
  • Rank in the world: 12922

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This institution provides undergraduate and postgraduate education in the applied sciences. Its courses include agricultural sciences, forestry, mineral sciences, health sciences, technology, and engineering. Upon its inception, the university was structured into four faculties: Applied Sciences, Agribusiness, Technology, and Engineering.

17. Arrupe Jesuit University

best law universities in Zimbabwe
A student using her laptop. Photo:, @Christina Morillo
Source: UGC
  • Country rank: 17
  • Rank in Africa: 804
  • Rank in the world: 12868

The Arrupe Jesuit University (AJU) is a tertiary institution owned and run by the Zimbabwe Province of the Society of Jesus on behalf of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM). The Society of Jesus is an order of Catholic brothers and priests within the larger Roman Catholic Church. The university is named after the famous Father Pedro Arrupe.

16. Gwanda State University

  • Country rank: 16
  • Rank in Africa: 790
  • Rank in the world: 12810

Gwanda State University is a state-owned institution of higher education in Gwanda, Zimbabwe. The institution is currently located in the former Epoch Mine in Gwanda, while construction of a new campus takes place. The new 87-hectare campus is also being constructed in Gwanda.

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15. Reformed Church University

  • Country rank: 15
  • Rank in Africa: 751
  • Rank in the world: 12540

The institution was founded in 2012 and is a small co-educational Zimbabwean higher education institution with an enrolment of between 500 and 999 students. The institution is heavily affiliated with the Christian-Protestant religion.

RCU offers programs and courses leading to bachelor's degrees in various fields.

14. Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University

  • Country rank: 14
  • Rank in Africa: 721
  • Rank in the world: 12380

The institution is the brainchild of Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti, a renowned figure in the country's religion sector. Professor Guti is also the university's current chancellor.

ZEGU was started in May 2012 and currently offers courses leading to internationally recognized degrees.

13. Catholic University of Zimbabwe

  • Country rank: 13
  • Rank in Africa: 688
  • Rank in the world: 12134

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The institution was opened in August 1999 under statutory instrument number 49 of 1998. Since then, the university has grown quite tremendously and now has 4 campuses in Mutare, Chinhoyi, Bulawayo, and Harare.

12. Solusi University

  • Country rank: 12
  • Rank in Africa: 605
  • Rank in the world: 11399

The institution is located 50 kilometres west of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. It is a private, coeducational institution founded in 1894 as one of the numerous Seventh-day Adventist mission stations. The university is named after Chief Soluswe, whose home was near the mission station.

11. Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

all universities in Zimbabwe
A university student studying. Photo:, @Oladimeji Ajegbile
Source: UGC
  • Country rank: 11
  • Rank in Africa: 594
  • Rank in the world: 11336

The Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology was declared an independent learning institution in 2017 after being under the University of Zimbabwe for 5 years. The institution's Dozmery Campus was commissioned in 2013, and the CSC Complex Campus in 2018. The UMC Campus followed this in 2021.

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10. Lupane State University

  • Country rank: 10
  • Rank in Africa: 544
  • Rank in the world: 10846

The institution was established in 2004 through an act of the Zimbabwe parliament. The university opened its doors to 14 students in its first intake. The 14 were enrolled in the faculty of Agricultural Sciences. The institution has expanded quite significantly since then and is now among the top 10 universities in Zimbabwe in 2022.

9. Great Zimbabwe University

  • Country rank: 9
  • Rank in Africa: 457
  • Rank in the world: 10008

The institution was established in 1995. At the time, it was known as the Masvingo State College. The institution's establishment came as part of the famous Chetsanga Report that proposed that the existing teachers' and technical colleges be elevated into degree-awarding institutions.

8. Harare Institute of Technology

  • Country rank: 8
  • Rank in Africa: 424
  • Rank in the world: 9701

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The Harare Institute of Technology was established in 1988 as one of the national vocational training centres in the country. With time, it evolved into a technical college offering several engineering, mechanical, electrical, and automotive courses. Today, it is recognized as one of the country's full-fledged universities.

7. Women's University in Africa

  • Country rank: 7
  • Rank in Africa: 406
  • Rank in the world: 9456

The Women's University in Africa is a Zimbabwean private university that is supported through student fees and donors from around the world. The institution was established in 2002 and is located in Marondera, Zimbabwe. It has a student enrolment policy of 80% women and 20% men.

6. Chinhoyi University of Technology

public universities in Zimbabwe
A university student. Photo:, @Andrea Piacquadio
Source: UGC
  • Country rank: 6
  • Rank in Africa: 373
  • Rank in the world: 9097

The Chinhoyi University of Technology, commonly abbreviated as CUT, was established by an Act by the Parliament of Zimbabwe in December 2001. The institution is located in Chinhoyi in Mashonaland West, about 120 km from the capital, Harare.

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The institution has numerous degree programs spread across the various faculties.

5. Bindura University of Science Education

  • Country rank: 5
  • Rank in Africa: 311
  • Rank in the world: 8307

The Bindura University of Science Education was established in 1996 and placed under the University of Zimbabwe. Its first intake involved 125 students tutored by, among others, five Cuban lecturers. The university was gazetted in February 2000, changing its status from a college to a degree-awarding institution.

4. Midlands State University

  • Country rank: 4
  • Rank in Africa: 230
  • Rank in the world: 6981

Midlands State University is a Zimbabwean government-owned school. The institution has 9 faculties, namely Commerce, Engineering, Agriculture, Arts, Social Sciences, Education, Law, Science, and Medicine. There is also a wide variety of specialist courses and programs.

Additionally, Midlands has been known to be one of the best law universities in Zimbabwe.

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3. Africa University

  • Country rank: 3
  • Rank in Africa: 205
  • Rank in the world: 6581

Africa University is a private, United Methodist and Pan-African tertiary learning institution. The university currently has over 1,200 students from 36 African countries. The institution is located 17 kilometres northwest of Mutare, the country's fourth-largest city. It is accredited to award bachelor's, master's, and PhDs in various programs.

2. National University of Science and Technology

  • Country rank: 2
  • Rank in Africa: 82
  • Rank in the world: 3693

The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was established in 1991 and is the second-largest public research university in Zimbabwe. The institution currently offers hundreds of undergraduate degrees and over 150 graduate taught and research degrees.

Today, NUST is among the best public universities in Zimbabwe.

1. University of Zimbabwe

top 10 universities in Zimbabwe in 2022
A graduand walking away. Photo:, @Stanley Morales
Source: UGC
  • Country rank: 1
  • Rank in Africa: 39
  • Rank in the world: 2396

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What is the number 1 university in Zimbabwe? The answer is the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). This is a public institution of higher learning in Harare, Zimbabwe, that opened in 1952. At the time, it was known as the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and was affiliated with the University of London.

It was later renamed the University of Rhodesia and later to its current name upon Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. The institution has nine faculties and one college and is the oldest and best-ranked university in Zimbabwe.

How many universities are in Zimbabwe?

All universities in Zimbabwe total 24. Of these, 14 are public institutions, while 10 are private.

What is the biggest university in Zimbabwe?

The University of Zimbabwe is the most prominent institution of higher learning in the country by size. However, it is topped by the Zimbabwe Open University in terms of student enrolment.

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What are the 3 types of universities?

Zimbabwe university rankings in 2022
An empty university lecture hall. Photo:, @Wokandapix
Source: UGC

Universities can be classified based on numerous factors. Here is a look at the three types based on the ownership and education structure.

  • Public universities: These institutions are funded by public means.
  • Private universities: These are not funded by governments. Their funding sources include tuition fees, endowments, donations, and affiliations with religious bodies.
  • Research universities: These can be either public or private and are typically doctorate degree-awarding institutions whose budgets are mainly channelled to research activities.

The best universities in Zimbabwe have high standards regarding education, research, and student welfare. These institutions are vital to the country's education sector at large and play a big role in preparing students for the modern-day employment and entrepreneurial sectors.

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