The United College of Education, located along Old Falls Road, about a kilometre from Mpilo Central Hospital was started by a group of churches in 1968 namely:
l Catholic Church
l Evangelical Lutheran Church
l United Congregational Church
l Salvation Army
l Anglican Church
l Church of Christ
l Methodist Church
l United Methodist Church
Its initial enrolment was 127 students with a staff compliment of eight tutors. Two programmes were on offer at the time, namely T4 (a two-year course for infant teachers) and T3 (a three-year course for the junior teachers). The entry requirement was six Junior Certificate passes including English and
Arithmetic or Mathematics. The group of Churches handed over the college to the Ministry of Education in 1981. This year the college celebrates its 50th Anniversary
The institution became an Associate of the University of Zimbabwe in 1978 and the first group to be certificated in the Certificate in Education Programme completed in 1980. A number of programmes were introduced in the 1980s aimed at upgrading holders of the Ministry of Education Certificates. In 1983, the college introduced an In-Service course for holders of PTL, PTH, T4, T3 and T2 to obtain a University of Zimbabwe Certificate in Education.
A Special Education course for teachers of visually handicapped children was also introduced in 1983 while Hearing Impairment and Mental Retardation courses were introduced in 1986 and 1987 respectively. The three-year Certificate in Education course was changed to a four-year course in 1981 and it reverted back to the three-year programme in 1988. The Certificate in Education for Infant teachers was introduced in 1989 and all certificate courses were upgraded to diploma courses in 1994.
In 2002, the model of teacher training for primary school teachers was modified from an initial one year in college, one year on teaching practice and one year in college to two terms in college, five terms on teaching practice and final two terms in college (i.e. 2-5-2 programme). The Diploma in Education (Infant) was modified to a Diploma in Early Childhood Development in September 2005.
To date, the college boasts of a staff complement of 340 and has produced over 16 700 students.