Bindura University of Science Education

THE ORIGINS of this university, situated in Bindura approximately 100 km north of Harare, can be found in the Zimbabwe/Cuba teacher-training programme. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Zimbabwean student teachers were sent to Cuba for training in science education. After ten years, the programme was moved to Zimbabwe for economic reasons.

A college was set up under the auspices of the University of Zimbabwe in Harare with the express intention of turning it into a fully-fledged university within four years. The college admitted its first group of 125 students in March 1996. The Bindura University of Science Education Act was accordingly gazetted in 2000, and the university was established a year later.

As its name implies, the university is devoted largely to the specialist training of teachers in science, although more recently courses in commerce and computer science have been offered. Academic programmes are delivered through three faculties: Science Education; Agriculture and Environmental Science; and Commerce. Not unexpectedly for a young institution, only two percent of total enrolments for 2007 were for postgraduate study. Nevertheless, six masters degrees were awarded that same year; and the academic staff are reasonably well qualified. Nearly 80 percent have masters degrees, but only 2 out of the total academic cohort of 179 have been educated to doctoral level. In spite of this lack of experienced senior staff, research is not being neglected. A healthy 30 percent of the university’s institutional focus is aimed in that direction, a claim supported by the 64 publications from university staff to appear in accredited journals between 2004 and 2007.

The Bindura University of Science Education is heavily dependent on government funding. It therefore experiences the typical associated problems – the lack of physical infrastructure, including books and equipment; high staff turnover and high student dropout rates – that are all seriously exacerbated in the current economic meltdown.

Facts and Figures at a Glance1

All of the students at the Bindura University of Science Education (1,885) are full-time, contact students, who are national citizens. The University reports, however, that registration was still incomplete when the figures below were compiled.


Table 1: Bindura University of Science Education - Summary of Enrolment Numbers (Estimate data, 2007)2

   

Number of students enrolled per level of study

Major Field of Study

Total Number of Students (Headcount)

Under- graduate degree/ diploma Post-graduate degree/ diploma Masters Degree Doctoral Degree
Science, Engineering & Technology 752 726 0 26 0
Business, Management & Law 843 833 0 0 0
Humanities and Social Sciences 285 280 0 15 0
Health Sciences 5 5 0 0 0
TOTALS 1,885 1,884 0 41 0

Source: Bindura University of Science Education questionnaire response

 
Table 2: Bindura University of Science Education : Academic and Research staff (Actual data, 2007)

Major Field Of Study

Total Number (headcount)

Science, Engineering & Technology 140
Business, Management & Law 30
Humanities and Social Sciences 5
Health Sciences 4
TOTALS 179

Source: Bindura University of Science Education questionnaire response

 

 

[1] All data presented in this section is headcount data.
[2] Student numbers do not tally correctly, verification has been sought.