The United College of Education is indeed an institution par excellence, having grown from strength to strength through the last 50 years of its existence. Originally formed by eight churches and later donated to the government, the institution has to date produced over 16 000 teachers that have served Zimbabwe, Sadc and the globe. The college aims to satisfy national educational needs by producing competitive primary and specialist teachers capable of adding educational value in socio-economic development and global competitiveness. Known for its flagship programme of special needs education, students come from across the country to learn the skill of teaching learners with disabilities as the institution is currently the only one which can do that.
The institution is conveniently located about 6km away from the CBD, along Old Victoria Falls Road, in a serene environment where students are able to study away from the hub and buzz of the city. However, the institution is still close enough to the city centre for convenience and is near a number of recreational sites where students can enjoy their time away from lectures. A tour of the institution vividly proves that the college is aligned to its vision of being the centre of excellence in the production of highly qualified primary and specialist teachers for the country, region and the world.
UCE has adapted to the new curriculum and were one of the first teacher training colleges to involve the crafters of NC to give spectrum. They embarked on a redesign of their syllabus to have it fine tuned to the new curriculum. They also have a vacation school programme that is run for teachers. A total of 1 470 students from the college are in field at the moment, going through their teaching practice. Two groups are graduating this year. Since 1968, 16 758 graduates have been produced to date. The institution has seen a sudden rise in enrolment in the last three years as more students are showing interest in the teaching profession. The college is currently struggling with demand.
A unique architectural design characterises the college. The institution strives to develop Physical Education teachers who will serve as the facilitators of physical education programs and who will also play a role in the design and implementation of those programs. Physical Educators have the goal of providing students with quality physical education that promotes physical fitness not only in the school setting, but also in students’ daily lives. PE teachers are trained to adjust their curricula to adapt to children with disabilities or different physical abilities. Some PE teachers advance to coach sports teams. UCE prepares educators who will also coordinate the educational, psychological, behavioural, technological, and health initiatives to remove barriers to learning at all ages.
According to UCE career prospect, over 80 percent of postgraduate students who graduated in recent years have found a job or further study opportunity. The college boasts of a thriving intellectual community of students and staff is fundamental to UCE’s position as a research-intensive university. The United College of Education has maintained its national outlook by enrolling students from anywhere in the country — the student population hails from all corners of Zimbabwe and beyond. Choose UCE and you’ll put yourself ahead of the competition when the time comes to begin your career.
The college was first housed at Msitheli Primary School (now Msitheli Secondary School) and moved to the present site in 1970. Immediately after independence, in 1982, the churches donated the college to the new government and it then became a government institution. Like other government colleges which train teachers, the United College of Education is an associate college of the University of Zimbabwe.