The 15 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) registered by ZIMCHE gathered for a historic workshop to strategise on how to harmonise credits accumulation and transfer systems across all universities.
The two day workshop held from 13-14 April 2016 at the Wild Geese Conference Centre in Harare was attended by Pro Vice Chancellors, Registrars, Deputy Registrars, Deans and professors. Each Institution was represented by at least five delegates
The Higher Education Institutions in Zimbabwe currently use two approaches to credit weighting, namely, the Credit Hour Approach and the National Study Hours Approach.
When adopted the Credit Accumulation and Transfer System(CATS)will be a standard for compairing the study attainment and performance of students of Higher Education Institutions. Participants were encouraged to consider CATS system in HEIs in the region and globally for the purpose of encouraging student mobility. Credits will be based on the learning achievements and workload of a course. This will help in making it easy for students to transfer credits from one university to another without having to start all over again as is the current status
Once finalised a common credit system will be a central tool in the HEIs processes which aim to make national systems more compatible
Implementing a common credit system will also help HEIs with the planning, delivery and evaluation of study programmes, and makes them more transparent.
According to the ZIMCHE CEO Prof. Ngara, the current differences between University credit systems may lead to problems with the recognition of educational qualifications from some universities. While not being uniform the periods of study taken on programmes also need to be standardised.
It is hoped that greater transparency of learning achievements and credits allocation systems will also simplify the recognition of studies done in different Universities
Another advantage of implementing a common credit system is that it makes it possible to merge different types of learning, such as university and work-based learning, within the same programme of study or in a lifelong learning perspective.
The workshop agreed that a common flexible, transparent credit accumulation and transfer system was important in Zimbabwe. To move the discussion to the operational level the participants agreed that ZIMCHE puts in place a technical commitee to synthesis the evidence presented by the participants and strategise on the best way to implement a credible credit accumulation and transfer system that speak to the traditions of Zimbabwe's Higher Education Institutions and best global practices.