The Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) is a State University mandated by the government of Zimbabwe through an Act of Parliament, ZOU Act (Chapter 25:20) to provide Higher Education through Open and Distance electronic Learning (ODeL).
Established in 1999, the State University operates under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is the Chancellor of the University. Professor Paul Henry Gundani is the Vice Chancellor.
The University has seven faculties: The Faculty of Agriculture, the Faculty of Arts, Culture and Heritage Studies, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Commerce and Law, the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Technology. The institution has a Higher Degrees Directorate which caters for those students undertaking Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. All Zimbabwe Open University programmes are accredited by the national regulator, the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE).
ZOU offers degrees (undergraduate and postgraduate), diplomas, certificates and short courses in the respective faculties. Student enrolment at ZOU has been growing steadily from the time of its formation. As at 2018, ZOU graduated more than 30 000 students who have been churned out into all sectors of the economy.