In July 2019, Professor Jesmael Mataga, Head of the School of Humanities, spent time at one of Zimbabwe’s young universities. The Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) was established in 1999 and is located in Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
Hosted by the Centre for Heritage Studies in the School of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Prof Mataga met with senior members of GZU to talk about potential areas of common interest between SPU and GZU.
The GZU’s vision is “To be the Centre of Excellence in Arts, Culture and Heritage as well as the advancement of other disciplines for the promotion of the development of Society”.
Like SPU, GZU’s focus is on excellence in arts, culture and heritage studies, African languages and other niche areas such as arid agriculture, teacher education and community development, law and more recently, health sciences.
GZU is located in a small town, with over 15,000 students and has boosted the economic and social facets of the town.
One of their interesting projects includes a student-run, state-of-the-art campus radio station, which is used for teaching and for community broadcasting.
As SPU looks to its next five-year strategic phase, growing its international (regional and global), linkages are vital to the growth and maturation of the University.
The School of Humanities already enjoys joint activities with the University of Toronto, Cambridge University and is working on formal agreements with the University of Botswana, the National Association of African American Studies & Affiliates (NAAAS), New York University in Abu Dhabi (Dhakira Center for Heritage Studies) and others.
Potential benefits from such international collaboration include jointly developed cooperative educational and/or research programmes for faculty and students through activities or programmes such as:
• Exchange of faculty members
• Exchange of students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels
• Joint research activities
• Participation in seminars and academic meetings
• Exchange of academic materials and other Information
• Special short-term academic programmes
• Joint cultural programmes.