Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has redesigned its master plan to align it with industrial and innovation goals of higher and tertiary education, a Cabinet Minister has said.
In an interview, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said Nust management redesigned the university’s master plan when Government adopted Education 5.0.
The new design incorporates an industrial park, shopping mall and students’ accommodation into the university’s complex.
“They have redone the Nust master-plan in order dance to Education 5.0. It was actually an initiative of the university itself so that they are able to have their science and technology park, so that they can be able to have their shopping mall and be able to have their industrial parks.
“As soon as we started introducing the Education 5.0, Nust administration took it upon themselves to redo the Nust master plan so that it reflects a high technology institution for which we want Nust to be and lead in that way,” said Prof Murwira.
Education 5.0 entails that universities should produce graduates equipped with skills that empower them to be innovative towards societal development through transformative science and technological knowledge application that delivers goods and services.
Prof Murwira said while Government might not have enough funds, it has employed a model that limits outsourcing of funds.
“We don’t have enough money but we have money for useful things. Our model is that we are going to contract out the construction. All these innovation hubs that we are building are not done by a person who won a tender, they’re being done by the works department of the university,” he said.
“I will give you an example; the innovation hub at UZ is very huge. In a normal set-up it was going to cost us about $70 million, but do you know how much it’s going to cost us? Only about $10 million.”
He said the same model was adopted in the construction of other innovation hubs.
Prof Murwira said the Ministry has put in place logistics at almost all the universities to build industrial parks.
The industrial parks are where prototypes that will be developed in innovation hubs will be developed into final commercial projects.
“For industrial parks, we have secured land at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) farm, we have been offered land in Marondera, we have been offered 20 hectares in Chivhu by Chivhu Town Council, we have been offered land in Masvingo but we have applied for land everywhere. I know for Nust we are doing the master plan and we will build it (industrial park) at that campus. There is enough land,” said Prof Murwira.
He said most of the universities have enough land to construct the industrial parks and the Ministry has approached Provincial Ministers seeking land for institutions that might not have enough land for their activities. [email protected]