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    Friday, 20 October 2017

    GZU holds graduation ceremony at proposed site

    •   Medical school to open next year

    NKULUMANI MLAMBO

    MASVINGO RURAL-The Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) has for the first time held its 11th graduation ceremony at its proposed campus site a few kilometres from Great Zimbabwe Monuments.
    The ceremony saw a record number of students graduating with 3 445 graduands being capped by the Chancellor of the University, President Robert Mugabe on Friday last week.
    There was also a record attendance of 13 000 people at the ceremony and these included parents, friends and relatives of the graduating students.
    GZU's main campus is currently at Masvingo Teachers' College in Masvingo but the site approved by Government is next to the Great Zimbabwe Monuments. Construction of the multimillion dollar complex is yet to begin. Initially there were problems to do with funding such a monumental structure and the new hurdle is that the University must get approval from UNESCO before putting up such a structure at a World Heritage site.
    Friday's graduation meant that parents and students had to travel 28 km out of Masvingo City to the graduation site. Four huge tents had to be pitched and these were enough for all the guests.
    President Mugabe has been anxious to see the University moving to its allocated site.
    GZU Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo told people gathered at the graduation that students whose programmes were changed from general three year degrees to four year honours in 2013 were graduating for the first time.
    "Programmes that were re-engineered to become four year honours degree programmes are now graduating for the first time. Amongst the first time graduating programmes are two masters and 13 undergraduate programmes and a total of 435 cultural practitioners are graduating in these areas," said Prof Zvobgo.
    He also revealed that apart from increasing enrolment to 14 000 students the university has seen nine lecturers becoming professors and PHD holders increasing from 54 to 66 in the past 12 months and amongst the graduating class a record 74 attained first class passes.
    Prof Zvobgo said that the first medical class under the edges of University of Zimbabwe will be enrolled in August 2018 as part of the fulfilment of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development requirements for all universities to have a school of medicine.
    The University is complementing Government in the development of the university.
    "Our brick making project has sustained our building needs as a university. This project produces 300 000 bricks per month and our development strategy envisages us buying more construction equipment to complement the ones we already have and establish a construction company. Our farm projects have performed exceptionally well. We will be delivering 50 tonnes of maize to GMB this year. The same farming projects have catered adequately for the catering needs of all our cafeterias as well as those of our staff and community," said Prof Zvobgo.
    He also revealed that the university managed to raise $200 000 in September at the fundraising dinner held at Great Zimbabwe Hotel and they have set aside $500 000 for construction at the new campus from their coffers.
    Among those who graduated were former Mirror attachees, Beatific Gumbwanda, Tinashe Tirivavi, Zaka Central MP Paradzai Chakona who graduated with a Master in Strategic Management, Teachers Union Zimbabwe president and Ward 19 councillor Lovemore Mufamba, Masvingo Court public prosecutor Costa Sesenyani and Siphatisiwe Mathambo a sit corresponded with The Mirror who obtained a first class pass and for her efforts she got a book prize from the university and Vice Chancellor's award.
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