Brain drain hurts Zim’s biggest university

A massive brain drain has hit Zimbabwe’s main university, which has less than half of its required staff and had to suspend some of its degree programmes, a state daily reported on Tuesday.

“The University of Zimbabwe has less than 500 of the required 1 200 lecturers, forcing the institution to halt enrolment for some programmes, particularly sciences,” the Herald said, citing a report by a parliamentary committee.

“Of the 211 lecturers required in the faculty of science, only 32 are available with the rest having gone either into the private sector or crossed the borders.”

Because of the shortage of lecturers, the university did not enrol new students this year.

Vice-chancellor Levy Nyagura said the institution was resorting to hiring expatriate lecturers and former staff members who have joined other sectors to work part-time.

“We have two professors from The Netherlands who are serving in the civil engineering department,” Nyagura was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “We also have some lecturers from Egypt who are in the veterinary department, while some are from Belgium and are discharging their duties in the computer science department.

“The situation is further eased by some senior government health officials whom we engage as part-time lecturers.”

Because of the economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe many professionals have left the country to seek better-paying jobs in neighbouring South Africa and Britain.

Those left behind often resort to part-time jobs to supplement their salaries. — Sapa-AFP

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