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Demand for university places goes up

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MASVINGO — Despite the shrinking job market, demand for university places is going up with some 2 000 applicants having been turned away at Great Zimbabwe University (GZU), an official has said.

By Tatenda Chitagu

This follows an 82% pass rate for school candidates while private candidates recorded a 57% pass rate in the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) “A” Level November examinations last year.

GZU vice-chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo said many students had applied for enrolment for the 2015 first semester but because of limited facilities, the university could not accommodate all of them.

“2 000 applicants could not be admitted for this semester as we were full. We are getting other students from abroad. But we have to balance the enrolment with quality learning materials and resources that we have as required by the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education (ZIMCHE),” Zvobgo said at a breakfast meeting in Masvingo on Wednesday.

He said the university’s student population has reached the 9 000 mark, up from around 7 000 last year following the introduction of more programmes as well as several other campuses dotted in town.

“We opened a law school and several other faculties. We also added our campuses. Currently, we have seven campuses in Masvingo and we hope to open an agricultural campus in Chivi,” he said.

He also said the university would introduce short courses for traditional leaders so that they can learn how best to run their local affairs.

“Our niche is culture and heritage, so everyone, including chiefs, should have a buy-in in our programmes. We will be offering course at certificate, diploma level or at no level at all for chiefs so they can have a better understanding of and interpretation of the law,” Zvobgo said.

He appealed to the Masvingo business community to support the university in cash or kind as it rarely got government funding under the harsh socio-economic environment.

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