The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Chancellor of the Midlands State University, His Excellency Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa conferred degrees to 3507 graduates, during the first-ever blended MSU graduation ceremony held at the University’s Gweru Main Campus on Friday 20 November 2020.
The 21st congregation of the Midlands State University’s graduation ceremony, witnessed 2670 students graduating with Bachelors’ degrees, 837 with Master’s degrees and 11 with Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
Out of the graduating total, 51.8% were female and 48.2% were male, with 110 graduating physically, while the remaining 3397 were conferred their degrees virtually. Among those who graduated were, 16 international students, nine (9) from South Sudan and seven (7) from eSwatini.
Midlands State University, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa commended the University’ staff and students for their resilience and hard work in the face of COVID-19.
Professor Muzvidziwa said despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University had managed to teach, research and innovate, through the adoption of ICT technologies.
“We were able to carry on with our research and teaching using digital methodologies, we taught in Google classrooms, and held meetings on Zoom and Google Meet … the COVID-19 pandemic has leap-frogged us into the ICT driven world,” said Professor Muzvidziwa.
The Vice-Chancellor said Midlands State University is committed to providing practical solutions to big problems through research and innovation, in line with national development goals as championed by the Second Republic.
“Research and innovation are the panacea for industrialisation … I am proud to report that MSU has been awarded by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), a patent titled ‘Method for Coal Tar Modification Using Nano Particles for Road Surfacing,’” he said.
The Professor Muzvidziwa said the ground-breaking invention by Mr Actor Zonde, Dr Gift Mehlana, Dr Tafadzwa Wendy Murinzi and Dr Upenyu Guyo will greatly impact road infrastructure construction.
The Vice-Chancellor said Midlands State University’s grant portfolio continues to grow as the institution further strengthens its collaborative research partnerships.
“The faculties of Natural Resources Management and Agriculture, and Science and Technology have made three Intellectual Property disclosures and this has significantly added to the growth of our grant portfolio and added to our pool of research grants.
MSU is collaborating with Kumba LLC of New Mexico, USA. The collaboration enables research and development of cannabis products for medical treatments such as cancer, pain alleviation and eating disorders, among others,” he said.
The inaugural blended graduation ceremony was attended by various guests and senior government officials among them, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira, Minister of State Security, Hon. Owen Ncube, the Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Professor Fanuel Tagwira and MSU Chairman of Council Dr Engineer Caleb Makwiranzou.