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Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) – University of Oradea (Romania) Educational Exchange Programme Trip

A ZOU delegation composed of 6 lecturers and 4 students left for the University of Oradea in Romania (Europe) under the Erasmus Mundus Educational Exchange Programme on 8 March 2024.  The Erasmus Mundus programmes is an EU study programme in the fields of education, training, youth, and sport for the 2021-2027 period. The programme allows students to study at multiple universities in different European countries, funded and administered by the European Commission. It aims to foster international exchange and understanding, and to promote international values and cooperation. The programme also offers many opportunities for internships, work placements, and research projects, which can give students valuable experience and help them to build their careers. Thus, making studying abroad much more affordable and accessible for students from all backgrounds.

ZOU Senior Management with the team traveling to Romania from left: Tawanda Majuru (Student), Nokuthula M. Piki (Student), Professor Fancis T. Mugabe- PVC -REID, Dr. Vincent. I. Tanyanyiwa (National Centre), Mr. Alfred Mapolisa (Manicaland Regional Campus), Spiwe Paraffin (Student), Ms Liliosa Pahwaringira (Harare/Chitungwiza Regional campus),Professor  Paul H. Gundani -Vice Chancellor Ms Rejoice Madombi (Mashonaland East Regional Campus), Dr Anyway Katanha (Mash Central Regional Campus),  Mrs. Mary Chawira (National Centre),  & Professor Ermson Z. Nyakatawa – PVC Academic Affairs.

In his farewell message to the departing delegation, the Zimbabwe Open University Vice Chancellor Professor Paul H. Gundani said it was a great honour to experience this very rare opportunity in the history of the university.  He encouraged the travelling team to benefit from the programme in the following areas: Enhancing cultural awareness;  Academic excellence and skills development; personal growth; networking and bridging socio-economic gaps thereby broadening participants view by exposing them to various cultures and ideas.

 Lecturer /student exchange programmes improve academic performance – participants gain a variety of useful skills, such as adaptation, problem-solving, and cross-cultural communication.  Increased cultural awareness promotes tolerance and global understanding. Experiencing life independently in a foreign country significantly nurtures personal growth and independence. This personal growth not only plays a crucial role in academic success but also equips lecturers and student to confront the challenges of adulthood and thrive in the global job market. The programme allows participants to establish a global network of peers and mentors, which can be invaluable  for future career opportunities and collaborations. Students often find internship and job opportunities through their international connections.  The exchange programmes serve as crucial vehicles for bridging socio-economic disparities in accessing international education opportunities and that lecturers/students from various economic backgrounds can participate in life-changing global experiences.” he said, 

The Lecturers included Dr. Vincent. I. Tanyanyiwa (National Centre), Dr Anyway Katanha (Mash Central Regional Campus), Ms Liliosa Pahwaringira (Harare/Chitungwiza regional campus), Mrs. Mary Chawira (National Centre), Ms Rejoice Madombi (Mashonaland East Regional Campus), and Mr. Alfred Mapolisa (Manicaland Regional Campus).

Team of Lecturers to Romania with the Dean Faculty of Technology standing in for Dean Faculty of Science from Left: Mr. Alfred Mapolisa (Manicaland Regional Campus), Dr. Vincent. I. Tanyanyiwa (National Centre), Mrs. Mary Chawira (National Centre), Ms Liliosa Pahwaringira (Harare/Chitungwiza regional campus), Dr. Benny M. Nyambo – Dean, Faculty of Technology (not traveling), Ms Rejoice Madombi (Mashonaland East Regional Campus) & Dr Anyway Katanha (Mash Central Regional Campus).

The students included Godwin K. Zingi (PhD Candidate Geography & Environmental Studies – Masvingo Regional Campus), Nokuthula M. Piki, Spiwe Paraffin, and Tawanda Majuru (All Undergraduate – Geography & Environmental Studies).  The team of lecturers and students are going to Romania for 12 days and 4 months respectively.

Team of students to Romania from Left: Nokuthula M. Piki, Spiwe Paraffin & Tawanda Majuru