Pres­i­dent caps 1 682 CUT

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - In­no­cent Ruwende Harare Bureau

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe yes­ter­day con­ferred de­grees on 1 682 grad­u­ates in­clud­ing the first doc­toral grad­uands at the 12th Chin­hoyi Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony.

The grad­uands suc­cess­fully com­pleted de­grees in agri­cul­tural sciences and tech­nol­ogy, art and de­sign, en­gi­neer­ing, busi­ness sciences man­age­ment, hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism, wildlife ecol­ogy and con­ser­va­tion and life­long learn­ing.

CUT Vice Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor David Simbi said there was need for sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment in hu­man cap­i­tal skills de­vel­op­ment in science, tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing ed­u­ca­tion from de­sign through lab­o­ra­tory re­search ex­per­i­ments to prod­uct com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion.

“The cur­rent freeze on aca­demic staff re­cruit­ment is fur­ther dent­ing the many ef­forts, par­tic­u­larly at grad­u­ate or post-grad­u­ate lev­els where science, tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing re­search re­sults de­signed for Zim­babwe’s rapid in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment as de­fined in Zim-As­set do not reach ma­tu­rity.

“Fur­ther­more, re­search by its na­ture is ex­pen­sive as it re­quires the re­searcher and end user of the re­sults to bet­ter de­fine the fund­ing model for sus­tain­abil­ity.”

He said the trans­for­ma­tive ma­trix re­quires aca­demics with a strong science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics (STEM) foun­da­tion.

The cur­rent science and en­gi­neer­ing ed­u­ca­tion, he said, were de­signed in prin­ci­ple to sup­port re­pair and main­tain skills de­vel­op­ment for raw ma­te­rial and pri­mary prod­uct ex­trac­tion for ex­por­ta­tion.

“While the es­tab­lish­ment of higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions that in­clude Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy, Harare In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and Chin­hoyi Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy is meant to bring for­ward Zim­babwe’s in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion needs, these Univer­si­ties need more sup­port with re­spect to ap­pro­pri­ately trained science, tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing ed­u­ca­tion aca­demics and the cor­rect teach­ing and re­search lab­o­ra­tory en­vi­ron­ment.”

The uni­ver­sity, he said, must cre­ate the ap­pro­pri­ate re­search en­vi­ron­ment with ad­e­quate space to house re­search equip­ment and pi­lot scale prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ing plants. In these en­deav­ours, our aca­demics and re­searchers re­main guided by Na­tional pol­icy im­per­a­tives.

“It is most grat­i­fy­ing, Your Ex­cel­lency and Chan­cel­lor, that the stu­dent en­rol­ment in the science, tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing dis­ci­plines is slowly in­creas­ing. To date the Uni­ver­sity has a to­tal en­rol­ment of 7 135 un­der­grad­u­ates of whom 34 per­cent are in science, tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing driven dis­ci­plines.”

“In a pe­riod fraught with lim­ited fi­nan­cial re­sources, the uni­ver­sity through its aca­demic and sup­port staff has been able to pro­duce hu­man cap­i­tal at the level re­quired for in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion,” he said.

He said stu­dents in the de­part­ments of Mecha­tron­ics and Pro­duc­tion En­gi­neer­ing, for ex­am­ple, have made their model air­craft, a drone and an au­to­matic liq­uid bot­tling ma­chine that senses vol­ume and height be­fore cork­ing re­spec­tively.

Prof Simbi said the School of En­gi­neer­ing Science and Tech­nol­ogy has made ma­jor strides in its post­grad­u­ate science, tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing ed­u­ca­tion by adopt­ing learn­ing ap­proaches that bring into fo­cus sus­tain­able util­i­sa­tion of en­ergy re­sources with­out com­pro­mis­ing the cli­mate change agenda for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

He said the grad­u­a­tion of 1 682 stu­dents rep­re­sented an in­crease of 19 per­cent from last years’ fig­ures in­clud­ing the first doc­toral grad­uands all from the science, tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing sec­tor. Prof Simbi urged the grad­uands to use the knowl­edge they ac­quired to trans­form Zim­babwe for the bet­ter.

Among the grad­uands were The Sun­day Mail As­sis­tant Editor Nyakur­erwa who grad­u­ated with a first class Mas­ter of Science De­gree in Strate­gic Man­age­ment cou­pled with sev­eral ac­co­lades.

Also capped were, Mashona­land West Min­is­ter of State Cde Faber Chi­darikire who also grad­u­ated with a Mas­ter of Science De­gree in Strate­gic Man­age­ment to­gether with for­mer Her­ald re­porter Tsun­giri­rai Dham­buza.

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