Midlands State University under the auspices of the International Relations Office successfully hosted the first-ever Internationalization of MSU and Zimbabwean Higher Education Workshop on Thursday the 5th of September 2019 at the University’s Gweru Main Campus.
The major objectives of the workshop were to develop a common understanding and a vision for internationalization as well as map a practical way forward that takes into account the University’s peculiar history and circumstances.
In her address to participants during the workshop, Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hazel T. Ngoshi who was representing the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa said the internationalization project should be viewed as a team project whose common goals are shared by all departments in the University, with everyone working towards its successful execution.
‘We need to think of our education as a product for the export market. We need to make sure that we take MSU to the world and bring the world to the institution through hard work, teamwork and mutual respect.
‘All departments should also be ready to be more involved in the recruitment of international students as each department should aim to have at least 5% of international students and there is a greater need for us an institution to benchmark ourselves against our strongest competitors,’ she said.
Professor Andrew Manyawu, the Executive Dean of the International Relations Office implored all University stakeholders to take an active role in preparing for the internationalisation of MSU through investing in it and making deliberate efforts to take MSU to the world.
‘Ladies and gentlemen I think it is high time we move to promote the brand of Midlands State University beyond our borders by firstly investing in the recruitment processes, improving our service delivery systems and also to make sure that the international students that we have are well taken care of and make sure that they become our brand ambassadors and inevitably they attract more of their colleagues to study with us.
‘As a University, we also need to be proactive not reactionary in terms of recruiting international students. We need to lay the foundation of our internationalisation efforts during the prosperous times so that when the difficult time comes our investment will pay dividends,’ he said.
The event was also attended by three international students Sephora Banze Ilunga (DRC), Dennis Tshikala (DRC) and Majok Richard Kuot Dhieu (South Sudan) who shared their experiences at Midlands State University with workshop participants.
Majok Richard Kuot Dhieu (South Sudan) and Sephora Banze Ilunga (DRC) noted with thanks the amazing experiences that they have had at the Midlands State University which range from the peace and stability that is prevalent in Zimbabwe, the amazing reception and hospitality from the MSU community as well as the remarkable progress they have made with regards to learning various languages during their studies.
‘We want to acknowledge the wonderful experiences that we have had at the Midlands State University, the people are peaceful, helpful and the education that we have received cannot be compared to any on the African continent.
Even though we encountered various challenges that have been solved satisfactorily, we would not hesitate to pass on the message back home that indeed Midlands State University is the University of First Choice and urge our friends to enrol with this institution.
‘We also would want in the future to have Midlands State University campuses in our home countries so that they also benefit from the quality of Zimbabwean education and we have no doubt that with more Africans learning the Zimbabwean way, Africa will be a better continent than it is today. Maita basa!’ exclaimed Richard.
The workshop which was also characterised by various presentations by reputable scholars from within the University concluded on a positive note with participants coming up with a number of resolutions aimed at ensuring that MSU attains its internationalization goals.