Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government has warned State universities to stick to their mandates as it emerged some were now diverting from their core business.
Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Dr Godfrey Gandawa, said this in Parliament on Thursday in response to a question by Mashonaland Central Senator Cde Damian Mumvuri (Zanu-PF).
“Every university has a niche that we give it. For instance, NUST has a mandate to produce graduates that are cognisant of science and technologies but of late, our universities deviated from their mandate and started offering, mostly commercial degrees, which issue we are seized with.
“Last week on Thursday and Friday, we had a conference in which we were emphasising to our universities to stick to the mandate which they were established for,” he said.
Dr Gandawa said Government was working with non-State universities so that they assist in producing graduates that meet the demands of industry.
“As a Ministry, yes, we regulate non-State universities in their operations so that they do not swindle the population of Zimbabwe, but we do not necessarily regulate the courses that they offer.
“They can offer their programmes but we also give them advice as to cover certain areas that are required by the nation because we have, for instance, an organisation called National Manpower Advisory Council in our Ministry.
“Namaco deals with the industry and industry will tell us the skills that are lacking within the country.
“So, we encourage most State universities to cover specific niches and encourage non-State universities to assist in those areas where we need labour and skill,” Dr Gandawa said.
A fortnight ago, while officiating at the opening of Sabina Mugabe Memorial School in Zvimba, President Mugabe bemoaned the calibre of graduates being churned out of State universities saying most of them did not meet industry’s requirements.