Harare Institute of Technology

THE HARARE Institute of Technology was established in 1988 as the National Vocational Training Development Centre, a polytechnic that was finally converted into a full university in 2005. Its vision is ‘to be a leading institution in the development, incubation, transfer and commercialisation of technology and manpower development for greater industrialisation’ in Zimbabwe. At the moment it’s a small institution, with only 268 enrolments in 2008, all at undergraduate level. There’s a promising academic staff complement of 70, however, with 43 trained to masters level, and 11 with doctorates.

Nevertheless, the Harare Institute of Technology is reporting critical staff shortages in the teaching of science, engineering and technology, and business management. Other problems facing this potentially important institution include a lack of reference material for course portfolios, a lack of adequate equipment, a high staff turnover, and a high reliance on government subsidies and grants (nearly 85 percent of operating costs). The second largest source of funding (just over 8,5 percent) is the university’s Technology Centre, described in 2007 as equipment was arriving as ‘the biggest machining centre in the country, supported by other lathe and milling operations’. 101 From the same source, the acting Vice-Chancellor describes the Technology Centre as being at the heart of a ‘science park project’. The Technology Centre will be equipped with ‘state-of-the-art equipment’ that will help with the training of the institution’s students, and also with the training of people in small and medium enterprises to be well versed in all the stages of product development from invention to commercialisation’.

The Harare Institute of Technology is currently involved in two collaborative academic/research programmes, both with institutions in China. The university has the necessary ICT infrastructure to facilitate regional collaboration, but it lacks the necessary finances to effect staff exchanges with other SADC institutions, or to establish additional academic chairs.

Facts and Figures at a Glance1

All 268 students at the Harare Institute of Technology are contact, full-time students who are Zimbabwean citizens. As the Harare Institute of Technology is a newly-established degree awarding Institute, there are few students currently enrolled at the university.

Table 1: Harare Institute of Technology - Summary of Enrolment Numbers (Actual data, 2008)


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 251 251 0 0 0
Business, Management & Law 17 17 0 0 0
TOTALS 268 268 0 0 0

Source: Harare Institute of Technology questionnaire response

Table 2: Harare Institute of Technology: Academic and Research staff (Actual data, 2008)

Major Field Of Study

Total Number (headcount)

Science, Engineering & Technology 64
Business, Management & Law 6

Source: Harare Institute of Technology questionnaire response



[1] All data presented in this section is headcount data.