ZIMCHE CEO Professor K. P. Dzvimbo
The advent of the global COVID-19 pandemic presented serious challenges for the operations of the ZIMCHE as the nature of our work involves a great deal of physical travel to universities for meetings with those who lead and manage the country’s 21 universities under our purview.
Like most public sector and higher education organisations in general, the ZIMCHE had to change its systems and processes to adjust its operations to the deleterious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff had to work from home, and meetings had to be conducted virtually. Perhaps, the most challenging part of our work was to shift from physical visits and assessments of universities and programmes to virtual assessments. It became very clear to all of us as Einstein taught us that “problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them”. What was needed was the adoption of a robust change strategy that we could use to cope with the “new normal” of working from home and remotely. It became very clear to us that we had to ask ourselves critical questions about the nature of the change that we were faced with. We literary had to manage the workplace 24/7!
The change brought about by the “New Normal ” was transformational. Above all else, we had to focus on changing our business processes in terms of our structure, organisational culture, and how we engaged with universities. In fact, the ZIMCHE has changed from the way in which it was initially conceived because of the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, one of the key deliverables for 2022 as we implement our strategic plan is to make suggestions to the Ministry on reviewing the ZIMCHE Act. Both financial and human resources will be required for us to be able to effect this change in the structure and functions of the ZIMCHE.