Two of the strongest academic institutions and pioneers of distance education in Zimbabwe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Harare at the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) Corner House Building on the 26th of February 2019. The MOU will see Institute of People Management of Zimbabwe (IPMZ) and ZOU through the Faculty of Commerce and law jointly working together in research and innovation, holding seminars and conferences on Human Resources Management and related topics.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, ZOU Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Francis Mugabe said, “the MoU, being signed today is part of a shared vision to develop Human Resources (HR) practioners through lifelong Open and Distance Electronic Learning (ODeL). In addition, the Government encourages Universities to establish collaborative partnerships with industry, commerce and professional bodies in order to address contemporary problems through research and innovation. In this regard, this MoU holds a great promise for our two institutions and for our different communities too. ZOU has extensive research capacity in various human resource areas including performance management, HR policies and procedures, training and development programmes and industrial relations.”
The symbiotic relationship between ZOU and IPMZ has been in existence for the past 13 years. This has given the two great institutions enough time to learn and understand each other’s environment. “I am delighted that today is a great day as we celebrate the establishment of a sister collaborative partnership in education, training, transfer of skills, dissemination of knowledge, quality assurance and research and development,” said Professor Francis Mugabe.
In July 2018, the Government of Zimbabwe launched the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework (ZNQF) that provides for the articulation of all educational, academic and professional qualifications. This has since become law through Statutory Instrument 132 of 2018. This bring good news to all IPMZ diploma holders locally and internationally. Graduates from IPMZ can now enroll into the ZOU Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resource, Industrial and Labour Relations Management Honours at year three, thus reducing their study time to only two years.
The ZOU Acting Vice Chancellor implored the two institutions to operationalise the MoU by organising an HR Summit for Southern Africa, the first of its kind in the country. He emphasised that the conference could become the pedestal of HR discourse in the Region, if held annually and would provide important opportunities to develop capacity and skills on a regular basis therefore shaping the future of HR debates.
IPMZ was represented by the Dr Philemon Chitagu, the IPMZ Vice President, PR and Marketing , Mr Luckson Mupandawana, Human Resources and Programme Development and the Executive Director of IPMZ, Mrs Fortunate Sekeso while ZOU was represented by the Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Francis Mugabe, Pro Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs Professor Afred Champion Ncube, Acting Registrar, Mrs Justina. Mutezo and the Dean of Faculty of Commerce and Law, Professor Tavonga. Njaya.