Lupane State University

THIS SMALL rural university opened its doors to 81 undergraduate students in 2005 – except that the doors were 175 km away from where the campus was being built. By mid-2008, it was still being built, and the university was continuing to operate out of temporary premises made available by the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo. Lupane is a small town just off the main highway between Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls, and not far from Hwange (formerly Wankie) National Park. The campus has been designed to accommodate 600 students. Meanwhile, the explanations for the Lupane State University construction delays range from a land dispute to a shortage of funds caused by the country’s high inflation rate devaluing the Z$8-trillion that had been allocated in the 2007/08 budget for the completion of the campus buildings.

The inaugural enrolments have all been into the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. Long-term plans include the establishment of academic programmes in the environmental sciences, wildlife management, forestry, and engineering. For now though, the council of the struggling university has resolved to concentrate on agriculture; and, in an effort to assist the institution financially, to offer the services of academic staff to do agricultural studies and surveys on a commercial basis.

Of the nine academic staff at Lupane State University, one has a doctoral qualification, and six have masters degrees. The university has recently introduced a Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development that will ‘foster and facilitate sustained agriculture and development through the training of rural communities’. The university is also determined to build up a useful library. In this regard, a request to an international agency for books stated that ‘reading materials will assist the students and researchers to come up with knowledge and skills that will empower the rural communities and provide solutions for sustainable development’.

Facts and Figures at a Glance1

All students at Lupane State University are full-time, contact students, and there are no students from other SADC or international countries.

Table 1:     Lupane State University - 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 40 40 0 0 0
Humanities and Social Sciences 41 41 0 0 0
TOTALS 81 81 0 0 0

Source: Lupane State University questionnaire response

Table 2:     Lupane State University: Academic and Research staff (Actual data, 2008)

Major Field Of Study

Total Number (headcount)

Science, Engineering & Technology 10
Humanities and Social Sciences 6

Source:  Lupane State University questionnaire response


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