Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
THE National University of Science and Technology was established by an Act of Parliament of December 1990 that was followed by the laying of the Nust Foundation stone by His Excellency and Chancellor of Nust, President Mugabe on 28 October 1991.
The Williams Commission of Inquiry had recommended that there be a second State University (after University of Zimbabwe) whose bias would be towards Science and Technology so as to work closely with Industry and Commerce to promote research, development and innovation.
It is 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.
Twenty-six years later, Nust stands out to be a university par excellence owing to the various milestones it has achieved throughout its existence. Nust director Communication and Marketing Mr Felix Moyo said the university has managed to stand out in various areas since its inception.
“The year 2015 was special in that it was its 24th year of existence, just a year before it attained 25 years since establishment in 1991. During the year in question, the University saw an increase in student enrolment. The University’s student enrolment rose steadily over the years from 7 995 students in 2014 to 9 007 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,” he said.
Mr Moyo said the increase was due to a number of factors namely an expansion of the undergraduate parallel programmes that created additional study opportunities for prospective applicants, additional post-graduate study programmes at Masters level, Master of Philosophy level and Doctoral level, a robust use of external facilities where the University rented space for teaching purposes outside campus in Bulawayo and Harare.
Other factors included the introduction and proper implementation of a well managed flexible payment plan system for those students struggling to pay their fees that would otherwise have dropped out of university on account of non-payment of fees.