Sunday News Reporter
IT was during the Year 2015 that the nation of Zimbabwe publicly pronounced the country’s emphasis on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and then assigned Nust to be the “Mother of STEM”.
In line with re-aligning the University’s focus to current needs, the National University of Science and Technology’s current vision is:
To be an international centre of excellence in Science and Technology and entrepreneurship for sustainable development by 2025.
The University’s mission states:
To spearhead human capital development for industrial and socio-economic transformation through science and technology-based solutions.
Integrity — to inculcate trust, derived from honesty
Innovation — developing a culture of creativity by all
Equity — fairness
Excellence — best service
Corporate citizenship — responsiveness to environmental needs
Client focus — to prioritise client centredness
ACHIEVEMENTS DURING 2015
For the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), the year 2015 was special in that it was its 24th Year of existence, therefore just a year before it attained 25 since establishment in 1991.
During the year in question, the University made the achievements that follow:
The University’s student enrolments have been rising steadily over the years and rose from 7995 students in 2014 to 9007 in 2015, a 12,7 percent rise.
The rise was quite significant considering that as a largely STEM University, any rise in student enrolments must be supported by provision of sufficient facilities by way of relevant infrastructural development like science laboratories and engineering rooms. This increase was due to the following:-
(i) An expansion of the undergraduate parallel programmes that created additional study opportunities for prospective applicants.
(ii) Additional postgraduate study programmes at Masters level, Master of Philosophy level and Doctoral level.
(iii) A robust use of external facilities where the University rented space for teaching purposes outside campus in Bulawayo and, out of Bulawayo in Harare.
(iv) Introduction and proper implementation of a well managed flexible payment plan system for those students struggling to pay their fees who would otherwise drop out of university on account of non-payment of fees.
Each of the University’s Academic Departments has an Industrial Advisory Board. These Industrial Advisory Boards are made up of practicing professionals who always know the current trends in their particular profession or industry. Their role is to advise each Academic Department:
— on the relevance of the Department’s syllabus to the world of work.
— on those topics or skills that need to be either removed or added or altered and the areas that need emphasis in order for the students to be more relevant in the work place.
Through these Advisory Boards, a number of the University’s academic departments introduced new modules especially those modules to do with new technologies. As a result of such advice, our departments have swapped some modules from fourth year to second year so that the students cover them before they go out on industrial attachment.
At the University’s Graduation Ceremony of 7th November 2014, a total of 1 884 graduands were capped while on 13 November 2015 the University produced 2 304 graduates representing an increase of 22,3 percent. The total overall pass rate remained above 97,8 percent.
TRACEABLE ATTRIBUTES IN THE NUST PRODUCTS
The graduates that the University produces have consistently exhibited innovation and a desire to use their creativity to improve humanity.
At the 2015 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), the University won gold for the fourth year running thereby winning the Altfin Floating Trophy in the category of Education and Training, as the best Educational Institution. In recognition of this feat, Altfin gave Nust a replica trophy to keep permanently.
In addition, the University’s Display at the 2015 ZITF, won gold as the Best Zimbabwe Stand and received the President’s Award for “Premier Zimbabwean Exhibit”. This gold award simply meant that the University was the Best Zimbabwe Exhibitor across all categories at ZITF.
For the fifth consecutive year, Nust was awarded the 2015 Diamond Arrow Award organised by PMR — Africa. This PMR — Africa is a regional body that operates within Sadc. It evaluates prominent brands country by country and sector by sector in each country. The citation for the Nust Award was “The most outstanding institution and leading contributor to the stimulation of economic growth and development of Zimbabwe”.
The University also won the ZNCC Tertiary Service Provider of the Year 2015 (Matabeleland Region) sponsored by Zimta.
The university charges fees at levels set by Government for all State Universities.