A student is considered as registered on payment of the prescribed fees and signing the completed registration form. By signing the registration form, a student is undertaking to comply with the university regulations.
Students will register only in courses available. Students will be registered in the region in which they wish to study.
On receipt of offer letter and invoice, the new student deposits prescribed fees into the bank and contacts the Region for the registration form. Registration return forms should be completed and forwarded to the Academic Registry at National Centre within 72 hours after completion of the registration process.
The student completes and returns the registration form to the region before the registration closing date.
On receipt of results, the returning student deposits the outstanding fees into the bank and contacts the region for registration.
Candidates can formally apply for exemption by virtue of having studied and passed the course(s) in another institution.Exemption will normally not be awarded for more than fifty percent of the programme to be studied.
The University reserves the right to grant exemption. As a general rule, students can get exemption at any level of study. Exemption will be given on a course by course basis.For a student to be awarded an exemption, he/she should have covered the equivalent course content that is offered by the ZOU. Applicants for exemption will be required to pay a non-refundable exemption fee as determined by the University.
The student applying for exemption submits the exemption form and attaches certified documents from the awarding institution(s). The Faculty is responsible for considering all exemptions. Senate is responsible for granting exemptions to students. The Faculty should inform Academic Registry and the Regions of its decision.
Distribution of the registration package can only be done upon approval of the exemption.
Accreditation of Prior Learning: APL Policy
A candidate may gain admission with credit into an appropriate programme on the basis of learning from past experience provided the applicant has fulfilled some of the progression and assessment requirements of the programme of study by means other than attendance on the planned programme, and will be able, by completing the remaining requirements, to fulfil the objectives of the programme and attain the standard required for the award.
All APL assessment requires evidence.
A minimum of a third of the required courses must be completed with the Zimbabwe Open University through APL. The granting of prior learning credits does not guarantee entry into a programme of study.
The prospective student must follow the normal admissions procedure to gain access into a programme.
Credit is not awarded for experience; it is only awarded for learning. It is not what the applicant did that counts, but what is learnt that counts. There are no guarantees that credit will be granted for the claims.
APL is different from the exemptions route into the university. Transfer of academic credits is processed through the Registrar's office.
APL can be used for:
- Entry into the Zimbabwe Open University;
- Direct entry into a second or subsequent year of a programme;
- Advanced standing with credit towards a target award (e.g. the award of credit against specified modules within a programme which do not necessarily amount to a semester or a year).
To be eligible for a prior learning assessment, the prospective student:
- must have at least three 'O' level subjects or equivalent;
- must not have failed the course during the previous semester (i.e. the last six months) for which the student seeks credit;
- without 'O' level English, will be required to do a bridging course and write an English test equivalent to 'O' level offered by the Zimbabwe Open University.
An assessment fee will be charged by the Zimbabwe Open University
The assessment fee will cover costs such as the delivery of test(s), the evaluation of test(s), the evaluation of a portfolio, an oral interview if required, and academic and administrative activities.
- should first collect from the Regional Office the programme flier that lists the courses on offer in the relevant Department;
- buys the normal application form from the Region that he/she intends to study in;
- indicates in the normal application form intention to enter the relevant programme through the APL route;
- submits the completed application form to the Regional Office and the assessment fee, as stipulated by the university;
The APL application form is obtainable from the Regional Office.
Students must produce portfolios as evidence, and or write challenge examinations set by the Faculty/Department; perform interviews; make products; do performances; demonstrations, produce artefacts; simulations or role-plays; and/or oral examinations. Senate appoints APL Advisors and Assessors that help APL students and process the APL documents. Those students selected on to the APL programme must be trained in portfolio production. The Academic Registry informs the APL student of the results of the APL application.
Appeals Policy on Portfolio Credit. A student can appeal against credit evaluation of a portfolio or other documented evidence within ten (10) days of receiving the evaluation. An appeal fee will be charged according to the fees Ordinance of the University. The Appeal will be communicated in writing to the APL co-ordinator within ten (10) working days of receiving the assessment results. A fee charged will be refunded if the decision is in the student's favour.
Procedures on Appeal Process
The prospective student discusses with the Advisor in the Faculty/Department who has been appointed by the Senate. The prospective student should outline the reasons why an appeal is warranted.
The normal appeal process stipulated by the appeals regulations of the university is followed.
Change in credit or no change is recorded with the Registry database.
Changing programmes policy
The student is allowed to change from one programme to another within two weeks of registration. The student should complete a change of programme application form. However, a student admitted through Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) may not change programmes without making a separate application for the programme they wish to change into.
The student should complete a change of programme application form which should be obtained from the Region.
Receiving Departments/Faculty should give a response to the student copied to the releasing Department, Academic Registry and the Region concerned.
Concurrent registration policy
No student shall be registered in more than one programme with the Zimbabwe Open University at any one time.
Where such dual registration has occurred, the student will be given the option to choose the preferred programme. Excess fees, if any, will be transferred to the next semester.
The Zimbabwe Open University charges the fees subject to the approval of the Ministry of Higher Education and Technology. Fees payable on registration. Minimum initial amount payable on registration is full semester fees, in line with the number of courses that are being taken. Full semester fees are payable on each registration period per course. Fees are valid for one academic year. Prescribed fees include:
Learning materials fees;
field trip fees;
computer fees; and
Additional fees may be charged for other services.
Student Loan/Financing Scheme
The Zimbabwe Open University, on behalf of its students, has made arrangements for student loan schemes with the following institutions.
Agribank; Century Bank; Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe; and Metropolitan Bank.
Loan application forms and fees schedules are available in the regions.
Procedure for payment of fees
Payments can only be made by deposits at any Barclays Bank Branch in Zimbabwe. Pre-printed deposit slips are available at the regions and the student should correctly fill in the following:
student name; student registration number and amount in figures and in words.
The bank will not accept the deposit if any of the above is incorrect.
Failure to pay fees policy
A student is only registered for the semester upon full payment of fees.
Where a student has not paid all the fees within the registration period, he/she ceases to be a ZOU student for that semester. Where ZOU is owed money or otherwise by a student, ZOU will handover the student to debt collectors. No University service is offered to unregistered students. Academic Registry in consultation with regions provides lists of registered students per programme per Region to Finance Department, Faculties and other stakeholders.
Regular fees statements should be sent to students at least twice a semester.
Reminders to defaulting students are sent a month before the end of each semester.
Defaulting students are handed over to debt collectors after a month of the reminder.
Fees refund policy
Only a proportion of total fees can be refunded or transferred in accordance with the fees ordinance.
Withdrawals by the Student policy
The contract between the student and the university can be terminated by either party.
Students intending to withdraw from the programme for whatever reason should advise the university officially in writing through the regional office. Students who withdraw for a period of more than 3 years forfeit all previously accumulated coursework credits and therefore have to start all over again subject to approval by the Faculty.
For temporary withdrawal, students will be required to pay for materials during registration unless modules/materials have not changed. Refundable fees for students who withdraw from the programme shall be as stipulated in the fees ordinance.
Withdrawals by the University policy
The University reserves the right to terminate the contract with the student.
The university may terminate the contract with a student for the following reasons :
Upon discovery of fraudulent information that influenced decisions for the student's admission into the university.
Failure to meet academic and administration requirements specified in course description.
Failure to pay fees. Breach of terms and conditions of university regulations. Any other behaviour deemed inappropriate by the university.
Termination of studies by both parties procedures
Termination should be in writing. Termination should not prejudice the University or otherwise.
Respondent should acknowledge within one month, otherwise failure to do so will be deemed as acceptance of withdrawal.
Deceased Student policy
There will be no refund for learning material The relatives of the deceased student shall advise the office of the Registrar of the death of the student through the Regional Office.
The Registrar's office shall change the status of the student on the database.
The Registrar shall notify other departments (Materials Production, Financial Services and Library). Fees shall be refunded in line with the fees Ordinance. A copy of the death certificate should be submitted with the notification.
Assessment is through coursework and examination.
Each course weighting should be in line with general and programme regulations.
Assesssment by Coursework
This is normally in the form of :
Tests; practical work; field work; assignments; artwork; projects; and any other form deemed necessary by the Department and Faculty
All marking of assignments should be completed in three weeks.
Students should be given feedback before the submission of the next assignment.
Once an assignment is marked, a copy of the list of marks should be submitted to the Faculty.
Assignments submitted after the due date will not be accepted.
Any extenuating circumstances, with documentary evidence, should be reported to the Region and Faculty.
All assignment marks should be with the Faculty two weeks before examinations.
No student shall be allowed to sit for examinations without satisfying coursework requirements.
Recording of coursework marks is the responsibility of the departmental/Faculty representative at the Region.
ZOU shall issue the assignment calendar to students upon registration as part of the registration package. The calendar should include deadlines of submission and marking of assignments.
Handling Assignments and Coursework Assessment policy
All students are expected to write the required assignments as determined by the Faculty or Department.
Marked coursework will constitute a specified percentage as per programme regulations. Accordingly, it is imperative that students do all the required assignments within the set deadlines.
Unless students have written evidence that they are allowed to collect/obtain someone else's assignments, they will not be permitted to collect assignments which do not belong to them.
Only fully registered students are allowed to submit assignments for marking.
Projects should be submitted by the deadline otherwise the assessment should be deferred. All regions should maintain assignment boxes for each programme for the storage of assignments in transit to and from markers.
Phase 1 (Submission of Students Assignments by Students)
The Region shall maintain a schedule of all assignments submitted by students with the following details:
Title of course and course code
Date submitted/date returned to student
Name of programme
Phase 2 (Dispatch/Collection of assignments to/by markers)
Assignments will be sorted out and packed according to course codes and course titles.
Before assignments are dispatched to markers, a form with the following details will accompany the assignments:
Student's name and I.D number.
Name of programme, course title, course code, and assignment number
Date sent to/collected by marker
Date assignments were returned
Auditing and Recording of Assignment marks at the Regional Office
Phase 3 (Assignment At Regional Office)
The Lecturer-in-Charge is tasked to audit scripts and arrange for the moderation of marks before they are data captured. Using the "Tutor Marked Assignments Form" (HAMF) the data entry clerk captures the marks and makes available their record to the Lecturer in charge. The Lecturer-in-Charge verifies marks on the score sheet with those provided by the data entry clerks. The Lecturer-in-Charge sends the signed hardcopy and the soft copy to the Faculty retaining a copy for the region. The region should send the marks to the Faculty to meet the deadline. Due dates for assignments must be clearly spelt out at the beginning of each semester to both students and markers. Last assignment marks should be due at least two weeks before examinations. Markers should complete the mark schedule in triplicate: for the region, Faculty and the marker.