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Nyagura challenges higher learning institutions to upgrade programmes

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UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor, Levi Nyagura has challenged the country’s institutions of higher learning to regularly upgrade their programmes to keep tabs with latest international trends and produce graduates with relevant skills.

BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA

Nyagura made the remarks in an interview with NewsDay on the side lines of a university vice-chancellors’ workshop in Harare on Friday.

The workshop follows a tour held by 10 university vice-chancellors to South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Cuba and Brazil last month, which was organised by Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo to link local vice-chancellors with the world’s best universities.

“We need to relook at some of our programmes to ensure that we produce graduates with relevant skills to be able to make practical and significant contributions to the industrialisation and modernisation activities going on in the country,” Nyagura said.

“The workshop is entitled transformation of higher education to respond to the industrialisation and modernisation agenda. The whole idea is to look at the way higher education is performing in the country, bring in best practices that we observed in the best universities worldwide that we toured and then try and transform all the high education institutions to respond to the new national agenda of industrialisation, and modernisation.”

He said there was need to benchmark what local universities are doing against industrial requirements.

“Universities must now become incubation centres of ideas. Universities must now focus on commercialising research that has a business promise and put more emphasis in their training on science technology engineering and mathematics-related programmes,” Nyagura said.

“Zimbabwe can never be a developed country unless we put more emphasis on Stem, because all developed countries have invested heavily on science technology engineering and mathematics-related programmes.

“That is the new paradigm shift we are considering so that we may be able to make some meaningful contribution to the development focusing on large scale manufacturing introducing advanced technical enterprises, providing technological products and so forth.”

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