Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday capped 2 652 students at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust)’s 25th graduation ceremony.
The graduates were drawn from the Faculties of Applied Sciences, the Built Environment, Commerce, Communication and Information Science, Engineering, Science and Technology Education and Medicine.
The colourful ceremony began shortly after 10AM when President Mnangagwa, who is the Chancellor of all State universities, led the academic procession into the Nust Sports Grounds where the graduands, their friends and relatives were waiting.
Out of the 2 652 students who graduated, six were holders of Doctoral degrees, 678 Masters’ degrees and 1 968 undergraduates in different disciplines.
Of the 1 968 undergraduate recipients, 1 063 (54,01 percent) were male while 905, which translates to 45,99 percent, were female.
At Masters level there were 373 males and 305 females while those who graduated at PhD level, four were males while two were females.
Among those who graduated were the leader of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), Dr Peter Magombeyi, who was however, not present and former Chronicle interns, Prince Sunduzani, Nyaradzo Bakari and Codelia Mondela.
In his report, the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Mqhele Dlodlo, said Nust remains one of the key centres of educational excellence in the country and regionally as evidenced by collaborations with universities from other neighbouring countries in various areas of partnerships.
He said despite numerous challenges, the university made great strides in redirecting Nust to the realisation of its mandate as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) university.
“We are in the process of enhancing the design of the main campus. In addition to that, we are also increasing our footprints throughout the Sadc and further afield by way of affiliations and associations with STEM biased institutions led by like-minded institutional leadership. To top it all, if the other Vice Chancellors in the convocation were to enumerate the achievements of their alumni, we would all be awe-stricken, to say the least. That simply points to Zimbabweans and our education system as next to none,” said Prof Dlodlo.
The university has since its inception in 1991 expanded its basket of distinguished offerings to 45 teaching departments in seven faculties along with institutes, centres of excellence, a graduate school of business in support of its entrepreneurial thrust as a university and affiliate institutions both within and outside the country.
Collectively, Nust offers 50 undergraduate and 48 post graduate degree programmes.
“Our mostly young research community is unbelievably vibrant, as shown by our diverse products of research. Buttressed by a robust staff development programme and research and innovation office with an internationalisation portfolio, academic departments have been steadily increasing the number of PhD holders in their establishments,” said Prof Dlodlo.
He said the Faculty of Medicine has had a breakthrough in the discovery that three phytochemicals provide effective malaria treatment and are working in commercialising the result.
Prof Dlodlo said the Nust Institute of Development Studies under the Faculty of Commerce concluded in December last year a three-year research project that sought to mitigate drought related vulnerabilities among livestock farmers in Beitbridge district.
He said the university is working on plans to improve its existing programmes as well as introduce more innovative and industry driven programmes that seek to address current challenges and gaps in the economy.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira, his Permanent Secretary Professor Fanuel Tagwira, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Prof Mthuli Ncube, State Security Minister Owen Ncube and the chairperson of the Nust Council Eng Alvord Mabena attended the event.
Also present were Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube and her Matabeleland South counterpart Cde Abednico Ncube and Vice Chancellors from other State universities as well as senior Government officials. — @mashnets