MSU urged to be cautious on expansion drive

Higher Education minister Amon Murwira has advised the Midlands State University (MSU) to adopt a cautious approach in its expansion drive, to avoid compromising academic standards.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

Speaking during a tour of the institution on Friday, Murwira said universities should collaborate to enhance capacity building of the learning centres.

“When you (MSU) expand, be careful,” he said. “Let us not compromise on the quality of education because that will hit back at us. Let us train properly. If you don’t have capacity, look for it from other sister universities.”

Murwira made the remarks after MSU acting vice-chancellor Victor Muzvidziwa said the institution had an enrolment of over 20 000 students and that it had implemented a multi-campus approach project.

Muzvidziwa said the students were not confined at one centre, but were spread at various campuses around the country.

But Murwira said although it was commendable for higher learning institutions to grow, they should make linkages with other universities.

“There is need to collaborate with other universities because you can’t know everything,” he said. “That is why as a ministry, we are encouraging multi-authored papers. We are saying the model of competition should go and that of collaboration be implemented. We are bringing the spirit of collaboration through the innovation hubs.”

Murwira said it was high time academics delivered goods and services to the people.

He said higher learning institutions should produce graduates, who are entrepreneurs and are able to create employment instead of being job seekers.

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21 Comments

  1. I really don’t understand the kind of thinking where graduates are expected to become employers immediately after qualifying. A degree certificate is simply a permit that allows a graduate to start learning their particular chosen profession. We need to get our industries going again so we can create employment rather than expecting newly graduated kids to create employment. It is not sustainable.

    1. Taura hako!!! I am sick and tired of the older generation saying we recent graduates are lazy and we should create jobs! How are we going to get loans to start a business when we don’t have collateral?

    2. good,but it all narrows down to capital.A student failing to pay fees ,defeer at some point but at last manage to graduate with a distinction in his or her profession of choice, innovative,thought of an idea, problem is implementation of that idea coz of being financially handicapped.wish they devise solutions,maybe loans for those graduates to start something whlst implwmenting what they theoretically learnt.the previous government failed to know that citizen education should be number one government priority,maybe this new government will address that.have hope in it

  2. Well said.Equipping students with the knowledge and skills for the world of work is the best institutions can do.

  3. Collaboration is an ideal which, in a lifetime of medical research, I have found rarely. Competition even within a research group cannot be avoided and I have seen departmental heads “put down” bright workers who might be a threat to their authority.

    I am quite complicit with the notion that too rapid expansion can dilute a university’s teaching potential. This has happened in western universities when there has been a governmental drive to make tertiary education a universal experience.

    UZ had a good reputation when I was an external examiner there and I trust the “blip” regarding a
    particular PhD will be eradicated.

  4. Confidence Musengi

    Guys lets adopt bottle learning not just enrolling to make money but the demand in the employment sector, if we exceeds the demand in the job market implies that the will be larger number of graduates in the streets.

    1. Unoda kuti vana ivavo vaende kupi vauri kuti vavharirwe panze? Universities in Zim, major in Input not output. World over the emphasis is now on Output. UZ gets a student with 15 points, a sharp student but after 3 years that student cant use a computer, not well equiped. Library full of 1995 books in 2018, what is that! We need to improve teaching standards in universities instead of shutting out our own children.

  5. A fact by Murwira, Everyone is degreed but eish. Depth is very limited. Some university are very shallow to extend of being null at their business or at work. I, personally I have diploma but to equate me with other universities products I am a Dr if not Prof.
    They sucky this so called Degrees yet they even lack basic O-level and A-level.
    Any way polytec must come and help some average o-level and A-level students rather than to push for useless political Degrees. Most of these students are weak in character, hero worship and lack professionalism. Eg most DR which were hero worshipers to Former President. They are a problem sure.

    Poly tech is the way, adopt nurses structure. Every nurse in Zim is capable to adminster an injection in Zim, but every Engineer from some University can not use any simple machine.
    Some of these universities dont have microscope but a student claims to be scientist. Sorry for students from these universities. Forgive me but most of you are very week. I have fired if not 250 students in my company cos of shallow training from number universities including UZ too. But UZ and NUST are still better.

    1. The Second Coming

      @ MD, You are using the fallacy of composition.

  6. better to have no graduates at all than to have unqualified people, why would someone with 7 points be enrolled at university for a social science degree, universities must stop this thing of just enrolling for the sake of money bu rather must enroll for the sake of educating zim citizens.

    1. Its good to have quality degrees but you should also note that we should not create a colonial system of education where a few were allowed to have degrees. There is nothing wrong in having many universities in Zimbabwe and many young Zimbabweans having degrees. We should not create a society where a few have university degrees, we do not want that.

    2. 7 points is not that bad especially for the field you mentioned. However, I agree with you and the honourable appointee that this ‘crazy expansion drive’ has to be halted before we find ourselves a laughing stock. How do you train 100 students with five microscopes, 3 testtubes,….?

      1. in the science field we need pragmatic evidence on every assertion you make, unless its arts field where your evidence is based on what someone thought facts not validated enough said.maybe shoul explain further.100 tstudents with five testitubes at MSU, ‘whilst they keep expanding”

      2. That’s very true cde,we are busy building empty shells as we build more university with no equipment to produce quality graduates. I will be happier with us having 5 universities producing fewer, but quality graduates who will add value to our economy.Besides it is a waste of resources by the students and the state to be producing a Marketing graduate for example to sale lines and phones at Econet, when an A level graduate can do that job, having been produce at minimum cost.This also comes with higher salary expectations, making our labour market noncompetitive to investors. What produced effective manpower in our industries was the apprenticeship program, but we have forsaken all that for over valued degrees. I remember growing up admiring artisans because they were well remunerated, for what their work place contribution was respected.

  7. 20000 students at msu is too much , far from meeting the demand of the economy. Given the number of universities Zimbabwe do not have the industrial capacity to absorb such a big number. What it means is that the university is now issuing papers called degrees to people who are not worthy to be. If you take a closer at some of the programs issued at our universities you will realise the universities are now after Cash. Creating some degree programs which are not relevant to our economy (in terms of the numbers), some created to accommodate poor A level passes. The Polytechnics are now advocating for the unusual– the also need to offer degrees. What for. Some universities should be reduced to polytechnics and specialised colleges instead, if we are serious about developing the skilled and enterprise students. You can imagine with all these Universities offering various Agricultural degrees, only a few few or none has a viable farm. Student are being taught agriculture Theory and they in turn acquire Degrees in ”Theory” of Agriculture and they are expected to create any jobs. maybe lectureship or teaching. but how many universities, colleges or schools do we have. Learn and contrast how Agriculture is done at our esteemed Agricultural Colleges, the likes of Gwebi and Chibhero just to mention a few.

    1. True evryone who gets less than 7 points is very good Poly diploma material they can then get a degree from there. Same as having the less intelligent just getting technical training straight from form 4 rather than waste 6 years for the person to then get a B.Arts degree only to go and teach kindergarten children

  8. the entry criteria for University students is very clear at least 2 A level passes,so i dont see no harm for someone to pursue what he wants regardless of having low entry points because he or she will be using their own funds,plus it must be born in mind that people do not necessarily go to school in order to work for other peoples companies,some do so to gain the theoretical aspect in the same vein the zeal to amass knowledge is within so i think the liberty should be granted to anyone.

  9. vanonzi MD avo vavachingoda kuti izive kuti ndi employer chete otherwise nyaya chaiyo avana kikiki

  10. our universities have no problem at all our industry is the one which is the problem every graduate world over undergoes a graduate trainee programme in Zimbabwe its difficult to get a GT that’s why it now seems as if University graduates are useless

    undergraduate+internship(able mentor)=excellent engineer

  11. Kuwiriranakwakanakakugarakunzwanana Garanewakohamandishe

    Comment…Mugodhi weShabanie zvowovhugwa zvino University ichaitaseyi?

  12. It is true that our universities need to expand carefully so that they do not become over-stretched. At the same time, however, they have to be commended for being so innovative in the face of numerous challenges. Thousands of young people who would otherwise be roaming the streets uneducated have access to education. I have learnt and taught at university outside Zimbabwe with people educated in Zimbabwean schools, colleges and universities but have always witnessed Zimbabweans excelling. This means there is something we are doing right in our education. One huge testimony to this is the “educated” manner in which we carried out our political changes. A nation with educated but unepmloyed youths is better than one with millions of uneducated and unemployed.You do not wait for things to get better then you start thinking of educating and training your people. Zimbabwe should be commended for ensuring that education is not a preserve of the elite.

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