The Sunday Mail
Levi Mukarati in Gweru
President Mugabe yesterday capped 2 358 Midlands State University students who graduated in various disciplines at a ceremony held on campus.
The graduates comprised 2 060 undergraduate degree and 58 international students, with 295 attaining Masters Degrees and three Doctorates.
Among them were Herald Assistant News Editor Takunda Maodza, Municipal Reporter Innocent Ruwende and Photojournalist John Manzongo who graduated with Bachelor of Science Honours degrees in Media and Society Studies and the paper’s Senior Reporter, Lloyd Gumbo, who got a Masters Degree.
Present at the ceremony were Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Cabinet ministers and other senior Government officials.
MSU Vice Chancellor Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe said: “Our dear graduates, we implore you always to remember that the MSU did not aim to fill you with knowledge, but rather to unsettle your mind so that you become more versatile, inquisitive, innovative, enterprising and nationally acclaimed graduates who seek to acquire knowledge and skill to take Zimbabwe and other nations to higher levels.
“It is primarily your attitude towards life and work that will make you a successful alumni and good ambassador of the university of first choice, the Midlands State University.”
Prof Bhebhe said the university has over the past 15 years produced 27 371 graduates, some of whom now hold strategic posts in Sadc and the African Union.
He said the higher learning institution was prioritising research.
“I wish to underscore the fact that as we produce our graduates, we never lose sight of the need to entrust our students in the hands of well trained and skilled staff.
“In that regard, at the same time as we allocate 50 percent of our annual budget for research and post-graduate studies by our academic staff, we also form collaborative partnerships with universities in the region, which have got more advanced research equipment and experienced post-graduate supervisors.
“The strategy has seen us nearly doubling the cohort of PhD holders among our teaching staff in two years from 68 in 2013 to 107 currently.”
Professor Bhebhe said the MSU had borrowed from the United Kingdom a unique work-related learning, teaching and training methodology that offers students on-the-job training.
MSU, he said, has contributed to infrastructure development like housing in Gweru’s old suburbs.
“According to the City of Gweru figures, those (housing) investors have injected an estimated US$100 million over the past 15 years in which more than 2 000 houses have been constructed, extended or refurbished,” he said.
“That scenario has resulted in our students enjoying affordable and decent accommodation.”