Midlands State University (MSU) has torched anger after barring at least 5,200 of its 6,500 student complement from physically attending their graduation ceremony citing the need to comply with Covid-19 regulations which place a cap on the size of public gatherings.
The annual ceremony is set for the Gweru-based institution’s Kwekwe campus on December 2.
Disgruntled students are up in arms with the university after they had been forced to pay the compulsory graduation fees which were this year raised from US$30 to US$70.
Students barred from attending the ceremony were advised to follow the event from a live feed set to be broadcast on ZBC TV’s and the institution’s Facebook pages while dressed in their graduation attire.
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) legal secretary Boris Muguti slammed the institution for alleged greed and insensitivity after hiking graduating fees for students who would later be barred from the main event.
“As of now, the university has not given justification to those unreasonable amounts, and it’s so sad and disheartening that our institutions of higher learning have become money making institutions,” he blasted.
“They no longer care about the values, they no longer care about the standards; all they care about is money.
“And in this situation, I do not understand why some students are being barred from attending the graduation ceremony because during that same time, we will still be having more than 15 thousand students on campus.
“All returning students will be on campus and if they want to talk about the numbers of students may be over the population on campus…”
Some affected students are reportedly planning private graduation events to coincide with the official ceremony.
But that has elicited strong warning from the school’s administrators.
“The University would, therefore, like to categorically state and caution all its valued stakeholders principally, graduands, their parents and guardians that these and any such events or gatherings are not authorised by the University.
“Should one decide to attend such events, Midlands State University will not assume responsibility or be held liable for the consequences of such a decision,” read a college statement.