President Mugabe yesterday capped 1 568 Zimbabwe Open University graduates at a ceremony held at the City Sports Centre in Harare.
Speaking at the ceremony ZOU Vice-Chancellor Dr Primerose Kurasha, said the institution had been recognised locally and internationally because of its world class programmes.
"ZOU won three international awards for quality, leadership in open distance learning and educational leadership. The Open University of Tanzania presented ZOU with an award of appreciation for its outstanding contribution to the development of the Open University of Tanzania.
"The award was given on 27 October 2012 at the Open University of Tanzania. ZOU was also awarded the International Star for Leadership in Quality Award in the Gold Category by an international body, the Business Initiative Direction based in Paris," she said.
Dr Kurasha said ZOU had also been awarded the African Education Leadership Award from the World Corporate Social Responsibilities Day for outstanding contribution to education. Apart from that Dr Kurasha is also the chairperson of the Distance Education Association of Southern Africa and was also elected the Sadc representative on the African Council for Distance Education.
Zou has also partnered with other open universities in Malaysia, India, Mozambique and Botswana. Dr Kurasha said the institution had also purchased two printing machines that would save money incurred in printing costs.
"Computer laboratories are fast being equipped in every regional centre for the students to have access to the Internet in any centre they may be operating from. ZOU's online platform, My Vista, has revolutionised open distance learning in Zou, in line with international trends.
"Students can access information through the My Vista platform which has brought the ZOU student to the same level of accessing information electronically as any other in world," she said. Dr Kurasha commended the graduands for being able to devote time to their studies while going to work at the same time.
Of the graduates, eight graduated with Doctor in Philosophy Degrees, two with Masters in Philosophy, 83 with Masters Degrees while 1 436 attained undergraduate degrees.
Since its inaugural graduation ceremony in 2003, 27 074 students have graduated from ZOU.