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    Sunday, 29 April 2018

    520 graduate at CUZ as student population jumps to 4 000


    HARARE – The Catholic University of Zimbabwe whose main campus is in Harare has experienced steep growth in population over the last few years with the number of campuses rising to five while student population jumped by 48% from 2 700 in 2017 to 4 000 in 2018, the institution's Vice Chancellor, Professor Ranga Zinyemba has said.
    Professor Zinyemba said student population should come to 10 000 by the year 2022 and campuses should also be in every diocese in the next few months.
    He said this while speaking at the University's 15th graduation held at the Jerusalem Events Arena CUZ main campus in Harare on Friday, 13 April 2018. Five hundred and twenty students graduated at the ceremony which was attended by the Catholic University's Chancellor, Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu, the University chairman Chris Mbanga, all other Roman Catholic bishops and representatives of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.
    Professor Zinyemba also pointed to a phenomenal growth by the University in the last five years with the student population starting at 280 in 2013 and rising 1 328% to 4 000 in 2018. The new campuses opened by the University in the last five years are Bulawayo, Mutare, Chinhoyi and Gokwe which was opened recently. The Catholic University which opened in 1999 used to have the Harare Campus only.
    All the 520 students graduated with degrees in humanities, business management, information technology and theology while seven got diplomas in theology. They were capped by Archbishop Ndlovu amid jubilation from friends, colleagues and family members.
    The Catholic University of Zimbabwe is increasing its campuses as it opened the Gokwe campus three weeks ago. The Masvingo Campus is expected to come on stream by August this year, said Professor Zinyemba.
    "We dreamt, among other things, that we shall have 10 0000 students by the year 2022 and we had at the time 280 students. Our student population rose from 280 in 2013 to 2 700 in 2017 over a period of four years. I am pleased to announce that our student population has risen from last year's 2 700 to 4 000 representing an increase of 1 300% over the first half of our ten year strategic plan period 2013-2022.
     "I am pleased to announce that we now have five campuses of the Catholic University, each in a different diocese of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe. Our newest campus is at Gokwe Town Center, which opened its doors two weeks ago on 31 March with 70 students. By August this year, we hope to have Masvingo Diocese on board," Professor Zinyemba said.
    He said that it was his wish to have a campus of the University in each of the eight Catholic Dioceses so as to avail the flavor of Catholic education and ethos in every community.
    Professor Zinyemba however, cautioned the students of the economic environment that they were getting into which he described as harsh and hostile. He said that it was proper to describe the environment as hostile considering that unemployment rate stands at over 90% and most of the industries are closed.
    Despite the negative environment, Professor Zinyemba expressed the confidence that the Catholic University students were going to face the adversities and prevail. He said, they were in fact going to help turn around the economy and create jobs not only for themselves but for others.
    "I see hope. I see promise. I see a return to investment. I see a better Zimbabwe and a better world. I see all this despite the fact that we are sending these young men and women into a world replete with uncertainty, and even hostility. With unemployment estimated at over 90% in our country, who would doubt that the environment out there is hostile to young women and men entering the job market armed with their degrees and certificates?," asked Professor Zimyemba.
    Professor Zinyemba challenged graduands to be like hot iron that can be shaped into any product. He told them not to despair when they fail to get meaningful employment but urged them to be innovative and come up with better strategies of survival not forgetting the ethical standards they learnt and gained from the Catholic University.
    "For those of our graduands entering the job market for the first time, what are you going to see when you look at the world of work – closed factory gates, unresponsive human resources managers and business sections of newspapers devoid of job advertisements? What will you see when you look at all this negativity? Remember Albert Einstein who said 'I am thankful to all who said No to me it's because of them I did it myself,'" he said.
    The Chairman of the Catholic University of Zimbabwe Council Mr. Chris Mbanga commended the Catholic University for the growth and congratulated Professor Zinyemba and his team for taking the University to greater heights. He called on the University to continue with the steady pace of growth and to remain focused on delivering what is relevant and appropriate in the dynamic environment.
    "We have been watching with a lot of interest the changes in the global economy and business trends where new businesses and technologies are emerging. We encourage your staff to focus on research and learning to build understanding in order to have a fair view of trends and to make a meaningful contribution to research and new knowledge. We know that the trend in many business areas is to disrupt the norm. We know that the Catholic University of Zimbabwe is cognizant of the trends and we encourage you to continue in your work so that you also find ways to disrupt considering that if you do not disrupt you will be disrupted."
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