Pres­i­dent caps 3 667

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Paidamoyo Chipunza Harare Bu­reau

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe yes­ter­day con­ferred de­grees to 3 667 Uni­ver­sity of Zim­babwe grad­u­ates from nine fac­ul­ties and the Col­lege of Health Sciences.

The fac­ul­ties are Agri­cul­ture, Arts, Com­merce, Ed­u­ca­tion, En­gi­neer­ing, Law, Science, So­cial Stud­ies and Vet­eri­nary Science.

Of the grad­u­ates, 3 106 were con­ferred with first de­grees, 535 with Masters De­grees and 25 with Doc­tor of Phi­los­o­phy de­grees. Among those grad­u­at­ing with bach­e­lors’ de­grees, 149 had first-class passes.

For the first time in the his­tory of the uni­ver­sity, an 18-year-old stu­dent was also con­ferred with her Bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Ac­count­ing.

The grad­u­ate, Maud Chi­famba, joined the uni­ver­sity at the age of 14 years and com­pleted her de­gree at the age of 18 years.

This year’s grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony also saw the pi­o­neer­ing grad­u­ates of the Maron­dera Uni­ver­sity of Agri­cul­tural Sciences and Tech­nol­ogy.

In his ad­dress, UZ Vice Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Levi Nyagura, de­scribed this year’s cer­e­mony as his­toric say­ing all these achieve­ments were a first in the 61-year his­tory of the uni­ver­sity.

He said the uni­ver­sity will con­tinue to en­gage with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers and strate­gic part­ners for con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment and to re­main rel­e­vant.

“We do recog­nise that our so­ci­ety is get­ting more com­plex with dy­namic vary­ing sets of re­quire­ments,” said Prof Nyagura.

He said this pre­sented a chal­lenge that called for a re-think of the na­ture of the pub­lic ser­vice the uni­ver­sity should pro­vide.

Prof Nyagura said to that end, the uni­ver­sity’s fo­cus should be more on so­cial­i­sa­tion of knowl­edge by mak­ing sure that the uni­ver­sity pro­duced highly-qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­als and that the best re­search re­sults were trans­ferred to so­ci­ety.

He said the UZ was also open to cap­ture the knowl­edge gen­er­ated by so­ci­ety so as to sus­tain and fur­ther de­velop the in­tel­lec­tual and cul­tural base of the coun­try.

“In this endeavour, we have com­mit­ted our­selves to par­tic­i­pate in na­tional projects that em­power our coun­try to be com­pet­i­tive re­gion­ally, con­ti­nen­tally and in­ter­na­tion­ally,” said Prof Nyagura.

He said in ad­di­tion, the uni­ver­sity also re­viewed its cur­ricu­lum to pro­mote in­no­va­tion, ap­pli­ca­tion of science and tech­nol­ogy and en­trepreneur­ship.

“Our fo­cus is to pro­duce grad­u­ates with a strong foun­da­tion in science and tech­nol­ogy and with prob­lem solv­ing and an­a­lyt­i­cal skills,” he said.

Some of the train­ing in­cor­po­rated in­clude Foren­sic Science, Geospa­tial In­tel­li­gence and Aero­nau­ti­cal En­gi­neer­ing.

Prof Nyagura said the uni­ver­sity had also ex­celled in the de­vel­op­ment of GIS (Ge­o­graphic In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem) and Earth Ob­ser­va­tion Sciences.

“The mo­ti­va­tion for this de­vel­op­ment is the re­al­i­sa­tion that ge­o­graphic sciences are key to hu­man se­cu­rity in­clud­ing dis­as­ter and emer­gency re­sponse, crime and ter­ror­ism pre­ven­tion, sur­veil­lance of diseases and dis­ease vec­tor out­breaks,” he said.

He said the uni­ver­sity’s GIS and Earth Ob­ser­va­tion Cen­tre had since been as­signed by the African Union to carry out two ma­jor tasks.

Prof Nyagura said in line with Zim As­set, the uni­ver­sity also em­barked on a num­ber of projects aimed at in­creas­ing in­fra­struc­ture to meet the growing de­mand of ed­u­ca­tion.

These projects in­clude a build­ing com­plex with 10 state of the art lec­ture rooms with a com­bined sit­ting ca­pac­ity of 1 000, a phar­macy lab­o­ra­tory that ac­com­mo­dates 130 students and an en­gi­neer­ing com­puter lab­o­ra­tory fully equipped with 100 state of the art com­put­ers.

Among no­table fig­ures that grad­u­ated yes­ter­day are: Direc­tor Gen­eral in the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent Re­tired Ma­jor Gen­eral Hap­py­ton Bony­ongwe, Minister in Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekhezela Mphoko’s Of­fice Ta­beth Ka­nen­goni Malinga, Mbada Di­a­monds cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tive George Manyaya, lawyer God­wills Masimirem­bwa and High­field leg­is­la­tor Psy­chol­ogy Mazivisa.

They grad­u­ated with Masters De­grees in In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe con­grat­u­lates the youngest Uni­ver­sity of Zim­babwe grad­u­ate, Maud Chi­famba, who grad­u­ated with a Bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Ac­count­ing at the var­sity cam­pus in Harare yes­ter­day. (Pic­ture by John Man­zongo)

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