By Tendayi Madhomu
The National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has introduced a March intake starting this year, a development that has received mixed reactions.
Despite sentiments that the increase of enrolment numbers at Nust will only overburden the institution’s facilities, Higher Education, Science and Technology minister Amon Murwira said the development was noble as long as the student-lecturer ratio is maintained.
Murwira said the institution has been enrolling a low number of students in the science and technology departments, which has been a major cause of concern.
“There is no problem as long as there is no mis-match between the students and the facilities. With the semesterised system, students can be enrolled at any point of the year; if there are more students than the facilities then we have a problem,” he said.
Murwira said the expansion in enrolment at tertiary institutions should not be about increasing their income, adding that he does not doubt Nust’s integrity.
He said his ministry is in the process of ensuring the success of pending infrastructure projects at Nust, noting that BancABC has pledged to support completion of the
medical school at the institution.
The university recently called for March intake applications for undergraduate conventional, parallel and block-release programmes for the 2019 academic year.
Conventional programmes are those under the day scheme, whereas parallel programmes are normally run during the evenings and weekends and are meant to cater for candidates who meet the minimum basic entry requirements for the programmes on offer and would have been unable to secure places under the conventional day scheme.
According to a 2014 report, Nust received about 5 000 undergraduate degree applications annually, yet the institution could only accommodate 1 500 applicants.
The university revealed that in previous years, it had received an overwhelming number of applications from prospective students; hence the authorities had considered to introduce two intakes per year.
Yesterday, Murwira said there was no point in having large numbers of qualified individuals roaming the streets while State universities failed to absorb them.
He said Nust is looking forward to enrol more foreign students, which will in turn boost the education sector’s dividend.
Nust has, over the years, been battling infrastructure and accommodation challenges. DailyNews