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Freshmen Urged to Conform to New Higher ED. Dispensation

In his annual address to first year students held on 8 September 2017, HIT Vice Chancellor Eng. Q.C Kanhukamwe urged freshmen to conform to the new dispensation in higher education; which now requires students to use their education to come up with solutions to real-life challenges.

“You are joining HIT at an important juncture in our development; as we embrace the policy on the Transformation of Higher Education for Industrialization and Modernization. Universities across Zimbabwe have now been given a new mandate to implement this policy which will see universities playing a central role in the development of our nation through training and research in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics. This new role instructs us to embrace STEM in its totality, as well as to respond to national challenges through the application of productive research which is solution-based. Whereas in the past, learning may have been isolated from real –world problems, this new policy thrust dictates that we come up with meaningful challenges to our problems as we further develop our nation.

Another critical factor in this new dispensation is the need to transform the mindset of all our stakeholders; and this includes you. Your arrival here is the beginning of that mindset change. You are not here to just earn a degree, but you are here to make a lasting footprint in the distinct area of study you have chosen. You will be empowered to be a visionary; to see beyond the obvious and envision a technologically advanced Zimbabwe. You will be equipped to start your own enterprises which will lead to our nations’ development,” Eng. Kanhukamwe said.

The Vice Chancellor added that this new policy position places great importance on the determinant role that STEM plays in national development. “You are the agents of STEM and we have high expectations of you and the work that you will produce to transform Zimbabwe. Throughout your studies, you will be expected to come up with projects that speak to our challenges. Remember, Zimbabwe is counting on you and you have that responsibility to make a contribution towards our industrialisation and modernisation.

The Harare Institute of Technology enrolled over 400 first year students in various programmes across its four Schools for the 2017/2018 Academic Year.

The Vice Chancellor challenged the freshmen to forge ahead, and not to give up; adding that any pathway that changes the course of history for the better will always have obstacles. The new students, he said, needed the resolve to confront challenges and attain excellence.

The Vice Chancellor emphasised the uniqueness of the HIT brand and the students’ role in upholding it. “You are being enrolled into a growing institution which has embossed a unique footprint into the Zimbabwean and global higher education arena. As you have learnt throughout your orientation; the mandate given to HIT is the Development, Incubation, Transfer and Commercialisation of Technology for Zimbabwe’s rapid industrialisation. This is encapsulated in our destiny, cause and calling statement. As you are aware, HIT has become a brand to contend with in Zimbabwe and beyond.

We are not in the business of producing graduates, but tools for the realisation of the Institute mandate and national aspirations. You can recall that technological advancements have become so critical in the survival of nation-states; determining winners and losers, and therefore, at HIT, we pay special attention to the tools that we use- you the students by inculcating certain attributes that make you winners in the technological field. The refinement of these skills is part of the greater national strategy, aimed at achieving Zimbabwe’s technological revolution,” the Vice Chancellor said.

Eng. Kanhukamwe also highlighted that the Harare Institute of Technology is very clear about its mandate and as His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Chancellor of HIT Cde R. G Mugabe continuously highlights and emphasizes;- we must continue to  empower ourselves for posterity. “This is embodied in the national economic blue print, ZIMASSET, and will enable us to become masters of our own destiny.

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