Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
President Mnangagwa yesterday capped 3 757 graduates at Midlands State University (MSU)’s 18th graduation ceremony at its campus in Gweru.
The graduation ceremony coincided with the installation of Professor Victor Muzvidziwa as the substantive Vice Chancellor of the university.
Prof Muzvidziwa had been acting MSU Vice Chancellor since 2016 when the university’s founding Vice Chancellor Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe retired.
Among the graduates were four PhD students, 458 Masters’ degree students and 3 295 undergraduate students.
Commander Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) Air Marshall Elson Moyo graduated with a Masters in International Affairs.
Presenting the graduates to the President, who is also the Chancellor of the University, Prof Muzvidziwa said 53 percent of the graduates were female.
“Your Excellency and Chancellor, today I present to you 3 757 graduands. Of these, 1 979 are female and 1778 are male. This means that 53 percent of the graduands before you are female,” he said.
Prof Muzvidziwa said MSU has grown to become one of the best universities, producing competent and first class graduates that have seen the institution now ranked number 90 out of 1 687 universities in Africa.
“Your Excellency and Chancellor, true to its purpose, MSU has consistently pursued excellence. As of July 1, 2018 MSU has been ranked number 90 out of 1 687 African universities by the Webometrics ranking system. In the previous year, we were at position 164,” he said.
Prof Muzvidziwa said the university has continued to raise the country’s flag high through its innovation and research programmes.
He said the university’s improved ranking has seen it receiving more grants for research from across the world.
“Your Excellency and Chancellor, allow me to salute academic staff for research excellence, which has contributed to our improved ranking. Our externally funded grant portfolio has thus grown significantly this year. We have so far received $545 000 as grants for research,” he said.
Prof Muzvidziwa thanked President Mnangagwa for having faith in him and installing him as the substantive Vice Chancellor of the university.
He pledged to work hard to help higher and tertiary education institutions contribute to the President’s vision of turning the country into an upper middle class economy by the year 2030.
The President was accompanied by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira, State Security Minister Owen Ncube and other senior Government officials.