Concern over UZ’s centralised mandatory first-year selection 

By Promise Dube

Worried citizens have expressed concern that the selection process for first-year law and science students by the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) in Harare is discriminatory as it disadvantages those who come from afar.

People noted that not every applicant can afford to attend an interview in Harare to start with, as the further one is, the more time is spent and as a result, the selection process does not provide equitable opportunities to potential students who live outside the capital.

These sentiments come after UZ posted an advertisement on March 28, 2023, with its Acting Registrar, Dr Munyaradzi Mudambi announcing the tertiary institution was in the process selecting first year candidates for the August 2023 intake for its various programmes.

“To this effect, the University is hereby inviting applicants to an interview and selection process for candidates who applied for the following programmes: Bachelor of Biomedical sciences in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree in the Faculty of Law, Bachelor of Science Honours Actuarial Science in the Faculty of Law.”

Dr Mudambi said invitations have been sent to all applicants who qualify for the next round of the selection process. 

“These are kindly requested to report to the University of Zimbabwe campus in Mt Pleasant on Monday, April 3, 2023 for the final selection process starting at 8am in the Great Hall. The process will include written and oral interviews, and is expected to end by lunch time,” he said.

The acting registrar said all applicants should come in person for this “mandatory selection process.”

“Please note that this is not a new call for applications, but is targeted at those applicants who have been individually invited,” read the advertisement.

Some citizens, however, observed that this selection process “seemed to be designed for people who stay in Harare or close to Harare.”

One Nqobani Nyathi said on twitter that the selection process should provide equal opportunities to all.

“This would have excluded someone like me. It’s simple, provide equal opportunity to all individuals regardless of background or social status,” he said, while another citizen said “it made life unnecessarily hard as possible for people.”

Raisedon Baya wrote that the mandatory selection process meant “ a child from Binga has to sleep in Harare on Sunday” to make it on time at 8am at the university.

“I still remember my registration. Train arrived late. I Had to sleep in Harare. Traumatic. They only think in Harare terms,” added Nyathi who recalled that a “simple process of registration was hard for most of us.”

Baya also added that it was possible, “quite a number will miss the opportunity.”

Another twitter user, Nqobizitha Ncube, said the system was “not fair at all.”

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