President caps 2 612 more MSU graduates
Tendai Mugabe in Gweru—
President Mugabe yesterday capped 2 612 more graduates at the 15th graduation ceremony of the Midlands State University. Of these, 2 228 were undergraduates and 384 got Masters’ Degrees. The graduation ceremony is the second this year after 2 358 other students graduated last month. There were 31 students from African countries that included South Sudan, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and Nigeria.
Among the graduates were Zimpapers staffers Happiness Chikwanha who graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Media and Society Studies and Beatrice Tonhodzayi who got a Masters in Business Administration. Speaking at the graduation ceremony, MSU Vice Chancellor Professor Ngwabi Bhebe said the university was equipping students with entrepreneurial skills that would enable them to create employment after completing their studies.
He said the university took a leaf from the Indian economy which is anchored on small to medium enterprises, adding that they were set to benefit from South-South cooperation through a student exchange programme with the Asian country.
“Your Excellency and Chancellor, we wish to assure you that we are also seriously taking on board your spot on observation that our commerce graduates need to be provided with such skills and knowledge to turn them into productive citizens,” said Prof Bhebe.
“In this regard, we have decided not to re-invent the wheel, but we have already thoroughly researched the Indian economy whose entrepreneurship education programmes have resulted in a thriving economy there.
“Of particular interest in the Indian system is the fact that entrepreneurship education has focused on measures designed to encourage self-employment and the establishment of small and medium enterprises.” Prof Bhebe said the fact that President Mugabe accorded MSU a second graduation in less than a month showed his passion for education.
He said had it not been for President Mugabe’s passion for education, the graduation ceremony was going to be held next year. “This graduation ceremony today, which arose entirely out of our Chancellor’s compassionate consideration of our graduands, is ample testimony of the tremendous value that His Excellency attaches to the role of higher education as an engine for socio-economic development,” said Prof Bhebe.
He said governments the world over could not adequately fund institutions of higher learning and as such the university had come up with other activities aimed at raising operational funds. Among the activities are fundable research partnerships that bring financial resources to the university.
One such partnership is the $97 000 grant by the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa. Prof Bhebe said MSU was in the process of upgrading its staff to PhD level and carrying out other innovative training programmes to improve the quality of education.
The 15th MSU graduation ceremony was also attended by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, among other high profile Government officials.