NUST graduation today President Mnangagwa

Nqobile Tshili-Bulawayo Bureau

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is expected to cap nearly 3 000 graduands at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) in Bulawayo today and thereafter assess progress made in the development of the university’s Technovation Centre.

Among today’s graduates would be the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere, who will be graduating with a doctorate.

The university will hold its 29th graduation ceremony at its sports grounds.

Our Bulawayo Bureau yesterday visited the university as it conducted final touches ahead of one of the biggest events in its annual calendar. 

Nust is mandated to lead the country’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) human capital development.

The university’s director of communication and marketing, Mr Thabani Mpofu, said all was set for the graduation ceremony.

“Some of our highlights for the 29th graduation ceremony is that His Excellency, the Chancellor and President Dr E.D Mnangagwa will be capping 2 996 graduands. 

“Of these, we expect His Excellency to physically cap graduands that are graduating with distinctions, graduands graduating with first-class degrees, and others who will be graduating with other awards and these will be 306 graduands,” he said.

Mr Mpofu said President Mnangagwa has increased to eight from two the graduands that will receive the Chancellor’s Award for excelling in their disciplines.

He said the President would also reward the best graduating male and female students at the undergraduate level with US$1 000 each while the best male and female graduate post-graduate students would be given US$500 courtesy of the Chancellor.

“On top of this and in line with Heritage-Based Education 5.0 His Excellency has seen it fit to recognise those students who are excelling in terms of innovation. So, there are four students with best innovations that are going to be receiving awards and these are going to be two female and two male students who will be receiving each US$500,” said Mr Mpofu.

He said the university’s depth is also being seen as it is increasing the number of students graduating with Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

“We are graduating five PhD students and among the five is the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Honourable Jenfan Muswere. We also have five students graduating with Master of Philosophy and these students will also be capped physically,” said Mr Mpofu.

He said the university’s regional footprint is also going to be amplified as 44 foreign students will be capped during today’s graduation. Some of the foreign students will be coming from Malawi, Botswana and Zambia.

President Mnangagwa laid the foundation stone at Nust’s Technovation Centre last year and is expected to assess its development progress. Mr Mpofu said the building is now 95 percent complete and the university seeks to speed up construction works that had stalled for many years.

“Another major highlight is that His Excellency is going to tour the Technovation Centre where he laid a foundation stone. You’ll remember that construction works at Nust had been on a standstill for so many years but the university adopted a new model motivated by His Excellency’s philosophy that Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo/Ilizwe Lakhiwa Ngabanikazi Balo,” he said.

“We have reached 95 percent completion of Block A of our Technovation Centre and Block B and Block C are also in progress. So, His Excellency is going to be shown how much we have done using our own hands. We are determined to finish the building and get it commissioned. That is going to happen immediately after capping the graduands.”

Laying the foundation stone at the Technovation Centre last year, President Mnangagwa said the development of the centre is critical in creating an innovation mindset among students while responding to socio-economic needs.

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