Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday capped 3 149 graduates at Midlands State University’s 20th graduation ceremony in Senga, Gweru. There was almost an equal number of female and male graduates who numbered 1 568 and 1 581 respectively, while 771 were postgraduate students.
MSU’s growing stature as an institution of repute was reflected in 100 international students from Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Sudan and eSwatini, who were also capped.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, MSU Vice Chancellor Professor Victor Muzvidziwa said among the graduates were the pioneering classes in Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering.
He said last year, a national critical skills audit showed a deficit in Engineering and Technology, Natural and Applied Sciences, Agriculture, Medical and Health Sciences.
“We are immensely proud of the university’s response to the skills audit through curriculum renewal,” said Prof Muzvidziwa.
“The university has since rebranded and expanded the mandate of its mining and mineral processing engineering faculty to become the Faculty of Engineering and Geo Sciences, now offering a wide range of disciplines in engineering, including energy and fuel sciences.
“These academic disciplines, Your Excellency and Chancellor, resonate very well with the Vision 2030 agenda. This gives us prospects of achieving an upper middle income economy by 2030.”
Prof Muzvidziwa said two of the greatest threats to humanity were climate change and global energy deficit.
“Our approach is, therefore, futuristic and that is why we are firmly committed to Education 5.0 underpinned by a new design ably articulated by (Higher and Tertiary Education Minister) Professor Amon Murwira,” he said.
Prof Muzvidziwa said in line with the ministry’s strategic vision, MSU had just completed the Incubation Hub Laboratory which was entirely funded by the Government to the tune of $1,5 million.
“We are also immensely grateful to our ministry for support towards the indigenous fruit and herbs project,” he said.
“This project is set to unlock the commercial value of nutritional and medicinal products from indigenous fruits and herbs.
“The project also champions a novel pathway for university research output to be channelled through our incubation hub.”
Prof Muzvidziwa said the Department of Local Governance Studies continued to make community engagement its priority.
“In August, the department collaborated with the Swedish Embassy and the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy in capacitating local authorities drawn from the country’s 10 provinces through training,” he said.
“These efforts will bring in the efficiency and effectiveness needed in our local authorities. The Department has also provided leadership in the Midlands Province’s devolution agenda.”
Among those who were capped by President Mnangagwa was Zimpapers Midlands Bureau intern Grace Nyoni, who got a Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) award for best intern in Media Studies.