PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday conferred degrees on 642 graduands at Lupane State University’s seventh graduation ceremony. Twenty five graduates were from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, 372 from Humanities and Social Sciences who included 20 students who graduated with Masters of Social Science degrees in Development Studies and 245 were from the Faculty of Commerce.
In his address LSU Vice Chancellor Professor Pardon Kusaziwa Kuipa said the university had launched its 2016 to 2020 strategic development plan in line with Zim-Asset.
“The process of developing the Strategic Development Plan was also coordinated by a strategic planning committee which conducted both internal and external stakeholder consultations. The formulation of the Strategic Development Plan was also informed by the country’s economic development blue print- ZimAsset and President’s 10 point plan for economic growth,” said Prof Kuipa.
He said the Strategic Development Plan has seven strategic directions that shall guide operations during the five-year period.
“The plan’s emphasis reflects a desire by the University to raise its profile in research, teaching, community service and resources mobilisation,” said Prof Kuipa. The Vice Chancellor said the university had begun relocating 145 students and 95 staff members from Bulawayo to Lupane.
“We have had to make painful sacrifices such as outsourcing the catering services since our kitchen and dining hall are not yet usable.
Secondly, we have had to ask staff members to share the hostel accommodation with students as staff apartments are not yet complete,” he said.
Prof Kuipa appealed to government to allow the university to recruit more staff to enable it to
introduce more programmes.
“The Government staff recruitment freeze has made it difficult for the university to either introduce new programmes or recruit senior academics to strengthen the quality of teaching, learning and research. May I take this opportunity to appeal to government to allow us to recruit new staff to enable us to introduce more programmes,” said Prof Kuipa.
He appealed to Government and other well-wishers for financial support to complete the students’ hostels and staff accommodation.
Prof Kuipa said the females constituted 60 percent of yesterday’s graduates.
Among the graduates were Chief Khulumani Mathema from Matabeleland South who graduated with a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Development Studies and former Chronicle general manager Mrs Sithembile Ncube who graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce honours degree in Enterpreneurship.
Present at the graduation ceremony were Vice President Cde Phelekezela Mphoko, Higher and Tertiary, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, his deputy, Dr Godfrey Gandawa, permanent secretary Ambassador Machivenyika Mapuranga, Matabeleland North Minister of State, Cde Cain Mathema and Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Cde Obert Mpofu and his wife Senator Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu among others.