MSU in record  graduation: Varsity scores a first as President caps  8 332 graduates President Mnangagwa congratulates Mr Stanlake Mangezi who graduated with an Mphil in the Faculty of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources and Management and was awarded His Excellency and Chancellor’s Award for the Overall Best Innovation from Male Student at Postgraduate level at the Midlands State university graduation ceremony yesterday. Looking on is the MSU Vice Chancellor Professor Victor Muzvidziwa and the Minister of Higher and Tertiary education innovation Science and Technology Development Professor Amon Murwira (right)

Mashudu Netsianda in Gweru

THE Midlands State University (MSU) held its 24th graduation ceremony yesterday, where a record number of 8  332 graduates were capped by President Mnangagwa, the Chancellor of all State universities. 

The graduates included 4 507 females (54,1 percent) and 3 825 males (45,9 percent).

A total of 10 were capped with Doctor of Philosophy while four graduated with Masters of Philosophy. Three received the Chancellor Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Award.

A total of 203 honours graduates had first class passes while 75 masters graduates have distinctions, merits and awards.

The oldest graduate, Gladys Mukandapi (65) graduated with Master of Education degree in early childhood development and child protection while the youngest Terry Nobuhle Banda (21) graduated with an honours degree in food science and technology.

Sandra Ndebele graduating

Some of the notable graduates were Sandra Ndebele, a Bulawayo-based musician-cum-politician, who graduated with a first class Bachelor of Science degree in Music Business, Musicology and Technology, and Retired Justice Martin Makonese, a former Bulawayo High Court judge, who graduated with a Master of Laws in Constitutional and Human Rights.

In his keynote address, MSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Victor Muzvidziwa said MSU continues to make strides in pursuit of Education 5.0 objectives.

“Your Excellency and Chancellor, the university’s research and innovation drive is gaining momentum measured by the level of research activities and innovation endeavours within the university and community at large,” he said.

“Through our research and innovation division, facilitation of technology transfer, protection of intellectual property and an enabling environment for commercialisation of produced goods and services in the university have taken root and are thriving,”

Prof Muzvidziwa said the MSU Incubation Hub has also prototyped a modified plant for the manufacturing of sodium hypochlorite and chlorine.

“The innovation is a home-grown solution for the water purification and will complement Government efforts to provide sustainable solutions to water purification challenges in the country,” he said.

“The cutting edge innovations that have promising impact on commercialisation are the wireless road traffic lights for our roads locally. The project will ease the country’s forex expenditure as well as reduce significantly maintenance costs as the manufacturing and maintenance of these unique traffic lights will be done locally.”

Prof Muzvidziwa said community innovators have also participated in the incubation, six have reached the start-up stage, undergoing scaling up, 27 of which are prototyped incubated projects with 21 intellectual property rights.

He said the university has made positive strides towards nurturing global linkages with universities in Africa notably in Ivory Coast, Botswana and Malawi, in Asia and others. 

“Our hands and minds are working in collaboration with researchers in India while some universities in Belarus, Russian and the United States among others have partnered MSU. These partnerships give us an opening into the global community,” said Prof Muzvidziwa.

Locally, MSU has partnered with industry and commerce players from various sectors and these include Powertel, ZB Financial Holdings among others.  Prof Muzvidziwa said the partnerships are key to actualising Education 5.0. 

The university also scooped several accolades at the momentous inaugural Presidential Innovation Fair and Excellence Awards held in April.

“It is even more gratifying to note that our students are a critical cog in our community engagements drive. They continue to inspire us as we strive to achieve our noble mission, for instance two students have been part of the Dura/Isiphala project where they are developing an information management system for the higher and tertiary education sector,” said Prof Muzvidziwa.

Part of the 8 332 graduates who were capped at MSU yesterday

“We owe our communities technical development support. To this end, MSU has established a 70-hectare irrigation scheme under towable centre pivot at Holy Cross in Chirumhanzu. The project shall be run jointly by the community and the university.”

Professor Muzvidziwa thanked Government for assisting the university to continue expanding its academic portfolio following the introduction of the 10th faculty, the Faculty of Built Environment, Art and Design during the 2023 academic year. Prof Muzvidziwa said the new faculty intends to tap into Heritage-based Development philosophy for the provision of modern rural and urban infrastructure through eco-friendly designs, locally produced materials and the latest water and sewerage treatment processes.

These interventions will result in world class healthcare facilities, interactive learning spaces and smart housing systems.

Prof Muzvidziwa said experts in the arts, humanities and social sciences enable the country to have a human perspective on the challenges that curtail national development.

He said the country needs creative artists, thinkers and philosophers who together with scientists can illuminate and transfigure the world. 

Pro Muzvidziwa also thanked President Mnangagwa for conferring the university’s founding Vice Chancellor, the late Prof Ngwabi Bhebe with a national hero status.

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