Midlands Bureau Chief
The Midlands State University is working on introducing a college of medicine and a school of mining as part of an expansion of programmes offered by the institution, MSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ngwabi Bhebe has said.Addressing delegates at Midlands Business Opportunities Conference in Gweru on Friday, Prof Bhebe said plans to introduce the new courses were at an advanced stage. The business conference was part of the Midlands Show which ended yesterday.
“In the realm of using education as the ultimate tool for our socio-economic transformation, deliberations are at an advanced stage to start a College of Medicine as well as a School of Mining Education at MSU. The mere existence of a teaching hospital in the Midlands province will undoubtedly have a marked positive effect on the business arena as medical supplies will be needed and employment will be created at the same time as the livelihoods and health deliveries of communities will improve.
“On the mining side, the university is planning to expand its tentacles to Zvishavane Town, thus further enveloping a greater part of the province in terms of both geographical coverage and meaningful exploitation of the mineral rich Great Dyke. All these efforts will have the effect of transforming the socio-economic status of the province to much higher levels, courtesy of the existence of Midlands State University,” said Prof Bhebe.
He said if the institution was accepted and supported by communities, strong partnerships that have staying power would be created. He said such partnerships would help leave a legacy for future generations.
Prof Bhebe said universities all over the world were in the business of extending the frontiers of knowledge and other areas that were relevant for the development of the people.
He said institutions of higher learning did not exist in isolation from societies, hence their role in developing communities and bringing big business to the areas they are located.
“MSU is national in character and admits its students from all over the country beyond the borders. Ironically, it is that diversity of origins inherent in our student admissions as well as staff recruitment policies that created huge opportunities for business, arising from a market that is created out of the massive concentration of human beings who are far away from their homes.
These people that the university brings together into the Midlands province especially during semester times twice a year require all the basic needs for survival, including accommodation, clothing and hair dos, entertainment and many others.
“In addition, our staff and students also need learning materials and educational support services such as stationery, books and laptops, typing, binding, photocopying and scanning facilities, among others” said Prof Bhebe.
He said retail and food outlets as well as hair saloons and landlords in Senga, Nehosho and Dalesford were some of the examples of businesses that realised a boom due to the existence of MSU in the Midlands.
MSU, Prof Bhebe said, has 17 298 students that were registered with it as well as employing 1 281 staff members.
“The university requires goods and services, including banking, insurance, health and fitness, construction, catering and beverages, motor repairs, fuel, publishing, books and stationery, furniture, telecommunications, textile, bedding, computing, event management and so on. This shows that the university as an institution is a gigantic consumer of goods and services in the Midlands, if not the largest,” he said.
Prof Bhebe said MSU purchases most of its goods and services in the Midlands except for those that were required by law to deal with the State Procurement Board.
The Midlands Business Opportunities Conference was attended by various Captains of Industry.
Powered by WPeMatico