BULAWAYO – The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has increased the enrolment of medical students and introduced new degree programmes in an effort to counter the country’s critical skills deficit.
Zimbabwe has a shortage of competent professionals, notably in the engineering, sciences, technology, and agricultural sectors, despite having a national literacy rate above 90 percent.
NUST Vice-Chancellor Professor Mqhele Dlodlo said the university had come up with rigorous measures to close the critical skills gap.
“Through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, your government conducted a national critical skills audit, which revealed that there is serious skills output deficit across various disciplines.
“For example, in Engineering and Technology, there is a deficit of 93,57 percent, Natural and Applied Sciences at 96,91 percent and Medical and Health Sciences at 95%.
“As part of the efforts to address the critical skills deficit, you came up with the Heritage-based Education 5.0 that challenged universities to redesign their curriculum.
“To this end, your university came up with various measures that do not only contribute to closing the national critical skills deficit but drive the transformation of our country.”
Professor Dlodlo shared this last Friday while addressing President Emmerson Mnangagwa and 3,087 graduates at the university’s 28th graduation ceremony.
He added: “During the course of the year we increased enrolment of medical students from 25 to 60 after successfully accrediting with the medical and Dental Practitioner’s Council of Zimbabwe and ZIMCHE.
“Increased our faculties from 7 to 8 with the launch of a new faculty of Environmental Sciences whose new degree programmes including Geospatial Sciences and Environmental Health, address the skills shortage in environmental and health sciences.
“Introduced 8 new degree programmes including BSc in Informatics and Analytics; BSc in Business Analytics ; BSc in Big Data Science and Analytics; Master of Medicine in Family Medicine ;MSc in Analytical Chemistry ;BSc in Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing; MSc in Applied Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing ;and BSc in Economics and Econometrics.”
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development conducts critical skills audits to provide decision-makers with critical decision support information in respect of skills development, planning and capacity building.
The audit seeks to identify, improve and address skills gaps within the country and align them with the redesigned workflows and processes within organizational functions. – ZimLive