Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent—
President Mugabe yesterday capped 3 445 Great Zimbabwe University graduates at the institution’s colourful graduation ceremony held at the university’s permanent site near Great Zimbabwe. The graduates were drawn from the university’s five schools, namely: Robert Mugabe School of Education and Culture; Garry Magadzire School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences; Simon Muzenda School of Arts, Culture and Heritage Studies; Julius Nyerere School of Social Sciences and Munhumutapa School of Commerce.
Addressing the gathering, GZU Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo said the university had fully embraced the national economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, in pursuit of its objective of national development. “This year’s graduation is indeed a special one,” he said.
“We have come back to our natural home, here, right next to the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage site as assigned by Your Excellency. Today we graduate a total of 3 445 graduands, which is a whopping 902 percent from the 920 who graduated at the university’s inaugural graduation in 2012. The figure is also a 66 percent increase from the 2 078 who graduated in 2016.”
Among the graduates, 2 756 were undergraduates, while 689 were postgraduate students, with 43 percent of the graduates being female. Among the postgraduates, 44 percent were also female. “GZU has fully embraced the economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, particularly, in its advocacy for national development,” said Prof Zvobgo.
“As such, our strategic response to the current fiscal challenges that limit Government support in our bid to see through the construction of the university here has been to embark on a vigorous fundraising drive for the project. Just this past month, on September 5, we held a fundraising dinner towards the construction of a convocation hall, which was well supported.”
Prof Zvobgo said the university was geared towards moving its main campus from Masvingo Teacher’s College to the new site. He said challenges associated with any major developments next to a world heritage site were delaying construction work. Prof Zvobgo said GZU responded to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to establish faculties of Medicine, Technology, Engineering, Cultural and Heritage Studies.
He said the university acquired land and the construction of a School of Medicine had commenced, with the first enrolment expected in August next year. The school will be under the University of Zimbabwe, he said. The university has also set its sights on establishing an agricultural and science research centre in Chivi District, where farmers will get skills in small-grain farming.
Prof Zvobgo said the university had a number of projects that assisted the institution in its resource mobilisation drive, chief among them the brick moulding machine that produces 300 000 bricks per month and about two million per year. He said the university was also involved in farming and was expected to deliver 50 tonnes of maize to the Grain Marketing Board this year.