Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
President Mugabe is this month expected to appoint university councils for the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences, Manicaland University of Applied Sciences and Gwanda State University.
In an interview last week, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Dr Godfrey Gandawa said the ministry had sent a request to the President to approve the university councils for the tertiary institutions.
Dr Gandawa said once the university councils were appointed by President Mugabe, Manicaland University of Applied Sciences would become a stand-alone institution weaned from Midlands State University.
“Three weeks ago, we submitted our request for the appointment of university councils for National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Marondera University of Agricultural Science, Manicaland University and Gwanda State University,” he said.
“We are hoping that the President will appoint the councils this month. Once the university councils are appointed, this means that Manicaland University of Applied Sciences will become a stand-alone university. This university will also have programmes on Forestry and Mining Engineering. We are expecting the President to approve the university councils this month.”
Dr Gandawa said the four universities would contribute immensely towards the achievement of the objectives of the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative, which is a conduit for a paradigm shift towards industrialisation.
He said the ministry was working on a new Act to compel all universities to set up faculties of engineering as a partial fulfilment of the STEM initiative.
“We are working on a new law that would see all universities setting up faculties of engineering,” said Dr Gandawa. “The principles of the Bill have been approved by Cabinet and we are waiting for the Cabinet committee of the law enactment to approve it before it is presented before Parliament.”
Midlands State University (MSU) Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Victor Muzvidziwa said they were expecting Manicaland University of Applied Sciences to start enrolling as a stand-alone university by January next year.
“We have helped in the setting up of Manicaland University of Applied Sciences,” he said. “Now that there is an Act of Parliament, we are hoping that they should start enrolling by January next year and we will wean them off.”