The Status Quo of Doctoral Education in Universities in Zimbabwe

Evelyn Chiyevo GARWE


Globally, the importance of highly qualified human resources (holders of doctoral degrees) in providing the requisite skills for knowledge economies is well acknowledged. Sadly, African universities are reportedly lagging behind in terms of satisfying the required quantity and quality of doctoral graduates (Harle, 2013). This study was aimed at providing empirical evidence on the status of doctoral education in Zimbabwe as well as identifying the reasons for the status quo. Documentary evidence and telephonic interviews were used to collect data from all the 15 (40%) registered universities in Zimbabwe. The interviews involved doctoral students enrolled in local universities as well as in foreign universities, aspiring doctoral candidates and senior academics based in local universities.The findings showed that six out of the 15 universities were offering programmes at doctoral level in 2014 giving a share of 0.2%. The combined doctoral degree enrolment was 150 translating to a share of 0.18% of the total student enrolments. A total of 28 people graduated with doctorates from Zimbabwean universities in 2014. Approximately 565 academics from Zimbabwean universities were pursuing doctoral degrees at universities in the region notably in South Africa and Zambia and yet only one university in Zimbabwe enrolled students from the region. The reasons for this state of affairs included the stringent regulatory environment regarding doctoral study in Zimbabwe, shortage of supervisors due to brain drain, unavailability of doctoral programmes at 60% of the local universities and inadequate funding and resources. The study the study recommends that ZIMCHE and universities should revisit their standards and regulations. In addition, government needs to adequately remunerate university staff and provide funding for research and doctoral studies.

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Journal of Studies in Education ISSN 2162-6952


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