The School of Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation was formerly established in January of 2014 and is the youngest School in the University. It was borne out of a vibrant department (formerly Wildlife and Safari Management) which grew in expertise and outputs beyond the seams of a department to become a fully fledged School. The School therefore showcases quite a diverse range of disciplines in the areas of biodiversity conservation, natural resources management and conflict resolution, sustainable resource use, wildlife ecology, ornithology, aquatic ecology, freshwater and fishery sciences and more.
The School offers degree programs which are unique, tailor-made and innovative in their crafting. The programs are BSc (Hons) Wildlife Ecology and Conservation; BSc (Hons) Freshwater and Fishery Science, Master and Doctor of Philosophy degrees
This is because nowhere else in Zimbabwe are these programs offered and this was deliberately cast in order to fill a specific niche in the industry which is to conserve, sustainably manage and utilise our biodiversity and natural resources.
Our graduates can work as ecologists, conservation biologists, game breeders, natural resources monitors, ornithologists, aqua culturists, environmental consultants, community development workers, wildlife entrepreneurs, restoration ecology projects managers and policy makers. Potential work placements are national parks, trans-frontier parks, game parks, conservancies and sanctuaries,aquaculture and fisheries companies, crocodile farms, fishing cooperatives, universities, research institutions, local and international non-profit environmental organizations, catchment councils, water and some government departments like the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Ministries of Environment and Climate Change, Water and Sanitation Development, Rural and Urban Planning. Graduates may as well consider the academia field in the country and the region's several and diverse universities and research centres.
The School is in partnership and collaborates with strategic partners which include the World Universities Biodiversity Forum, International University Network on Cultural and Biological Diversity (IUNCBD), Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority, Birdlife Zimbabwe, Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe, Umfurudzi Park, Pioneer Africa, Hurungwe Safaris, Ubuntu Unleashed, East African Lakes Observatory Network with representations on several national boards such as Zimbabwe National Biodiversity Forum, the UNDP Equator Initiative Prize Technical Review Committee, the World Commission on Protected Areas (WPCA) and the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB).
The uniquiness is that the programmes cater for a specialized niche filling the gap created by other degree programmes mostly offering traditional or orthodox and theoretical approaches to wildlife management, sustainable development and conservation. Our degree programmes emphasize a holistic approach to environmental issues and focus on not only freshwater resources, wildlife and fisheries in a purely ecological sense but also the social dynamics which are often cast in totally different disciplines at many universities. This is complimented by a wholesome teaching and learning approach (theory, practicals, field visits and bush school, attachments and exhibits). We realize that community engagement and the inclusion of social aspects premised on technological advances offers more sustainable solutions to the local and regional problems encountered in our part of the environment, hence the degree programmes offered.
Currently, the School is on the verge of introducing two taught Masters programmes, that will focus on: ( i) Biodiversity Science and Policy Interface, and (ii) Wildlife Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation.