Simiso Mlevu Senior Writer
Government last Friday gazetted two Bills, paving way for the establishment of two more State universities in Manicaland and Matabeleland South to address growing demand for use of technologies and application of sciences.
The Manicaland University of Applied Science Bill and the Gwanda State University Bill are now expected to be tabled before Parliament. In terms of the Bills, some of the objectives of the universities will be to contribute towards “the advancement of knowledge through teaching, research and learning and the nurturing of the intellectual, aesthetic, social and moral growth of the students.”
Manicaland University of Applied Sciences will nurture scholars in the fields of applied sciences, mineral sciences, forestry sciences, agricultural sciences and tourism and hospitality.
Gwanda State University will specialise in animal and veterinary sciences, irrigation engineering and management, mining engineering and ecosystem restoration.
From one university at independence in 1980, Government has established fully fledged universities in all, but three provinces and has encouraged the establishment of private universities.
The new State universities joining the expanded University of Zimbabwe in Harare are the Midlands State University, Great Zimbabwe University, Chinhoyi University of Technology in Mashonaland West, Bindura University of Science Education in Mashonaland Central, National University of Science and Technology and Lupane State University in Matabeleland North.
There is also the Zimbabwe Open University that caters for distance learning. Manicaland, Matabeleland South and Mashonaland East were the only provinces without a State university.
Mashonaland East Province has edged closer to having a State university after Parliament passed the Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Bill in July. The Bill now awaits President Mugabe’s assent to become operational.