Varsities need more science students: Prof Moyo

Walter Nyamukondiwa – Chinhoyi Bureau

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Government has expressed concern over the high enrolment of students who would have majored in commercial subjects at advanced level into science and technology universities.

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Prof Moyo

Prof Moyo

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Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said the situation needed to be addressed urgently.

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Prof Moyo was speaking during a tour of the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) last week as part of a countrywide visit to appreciate the state of affairs in higher institutions of learning.

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“Why are we having more students doing commercial subjects at a science and technology institution? Every university you go, there are more commercial students,” he said. Those in science and technology driven programmes should be the wealth creators and those doing commercial subject will come in to manage the wealth.

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“Science and technology driven institutions should show that they are knowledge institutions through Patents and Intellectual Property born out of researches that bring solutions to society’s needs.

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“When universities begin to come up with cutting edge researches that are patented and regarded as intellectual property, then they will be implementing President Mugabe’s vision in merging Higher Education and the Science and Technology ministries into one.”

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However, CUT Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Simbi said the country’s 13 universities are competing for a few science and mathematics students that are being churned out of High schools.

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“We are in a dilemma in that the country’s education system is only producing an average of about 2 500 students that can take up programmes in science and technology,” he said.

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Prof Moyo also said the Government is proposing that universities meet 30 percent of their salary bill as it moves to cut on expenditure.

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He said universities were expected to meet the quota using tuition fees.

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“It is a position coming from treasury after looking at universities’ enrolment and capacity,” he said. However, indications from some universities are that it is not feasible as they do not have the capacity while others said they need time to build capacity gradually.”