The Catholic University of Zimbabwe (CUZ) joined the International Council of Universities of St Thomas Acquinas (ICUSTA) in May 2013 which is an international association of Catholic Institutions of higher learning that faithfully adhere to the ideals and teachings of St Thomas Aquinas.

ICUSTA was found in 1993 by the University of St. Thomas in Santiago, Chile and it now houses 38 member institutions across the Globe.

Speaking during a media briefing at the CUZ recently, ICUSTA Executive Director, Dr Ravi Srinivas said the main purpose of the association is to encourage cooperation and collaboration, and international understanding among its members which the CUZ students will benefiting from.

“ICUSTA fosters student and faculty exchanges through bilateral agreements and promotes collaborative initiatives such as online courses related to globalization, faculty lecture exchange opportunities and faculty collaborative opportunities,” said Dr Savi.

Responding to a question during a Public Lecture at the same day on the benefit the students from the institution can get from the membership of the CUZ to the association, Dr Savi said students are the major purpose for the collaborations and he assured that they will receive e-resources from other members of ICUSTA who are well established.

He added that plans are underway to create a platform where students from member institutions can interact through sharing experiences and collaborative research, as priorities for the association

The Catholic University which is realizing a steady growth in students’ numbers has recorded a notable increase from 450 in September 2013 to 550 students in February 2014.

The University is expecting to increase its enrollment when it introduces Block Release program in April. The institution is also set to open new campuses at Chinhoyi Pastoral Centre in Chitambo, Mutare Diocesan Training Centre in Chikanga and Bulawayo at the St Augastine’s Seminary in Sunnyside.