Provision of equal education for students with disabilities at tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe: prospects and barriers

  • T Runhare University of Zimbabwe, Educational Foundations Department, P. O. Box MP 167, Mt Pleasant, Harare
Keywords: disability, impairment, inclusion, integration/mainstreaming, special needs education


The study investigated the extent to which students with disabilities were coping with the inclusive educational setting at one university in Zimbabwe. In particular, it aimed at tracing these students' perceptions towards their mainstream peers and lecturers, as well as determining the extent to which the university accommodated them into its various degree programmes. Data were gathered through a study of the institution's student admissions records over a period of eight years (1995–2002) and from 50 students with various forms of disabilities, using a focused questionnaire. The findings revealed that students with disabilities comprised less than 1 per cent of the total university student enrolment; and that most of them were marginalized into undergraduate degree programmes, mainly in the Faculties of Arts, Education and Social Studies. They were generally positive towards their mainstream peers and the inclusive education system practised at the university but were dissatisfied with the quality of services provided to them by lecturers. In view of these findings, recommendations on improving sensitivity towards issues of disability within the university's various organs and personnel have been made.

Key Words: disability, impairment, inclusion, integration/mainstreaming, special needs education

Jnl of Social Development in Africa Vol.19(1) 2004: 151-167

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1012-1080