Vice-Chancellor Prof M.E. Dlodlo welcomes First Year 2020 students

On behalf of the Council and Senate of the National University of Science and Technology, I welcome you to your new academic family for the rest of your life. That is because once a member, you cannot shake NUST off. You start out as a student here, and graduate into the rank of an alumna or alumnus. At this latter stage, your university would have become your alma mater, and we trust you would have internalized our values and treasures. You would have become our ambassadors, wherever you go, in your professional journey. Let me go on to unpack this dense welcome statement.

Becoming a member of NUST

We have accepted you as a student of NUST, so that you can be part of an ancient African tradition of deep thinking and scholarly engagement. It dates back to when the very first universities came about, and that was right here on the African soil. Many of the early ones have ceased to exist, but I will cite one that has never ceased to operate as a community of scholars. It is the University of Al-Karaouine (Morocco, 859). Fatima al-Fihri founded the Al-Quaraouiyine University in 859 CE in Fes, Morocco “as a community mosque with an associated school”. That was the cultural environment in that part of Afrika, the land of Ham, the son of Noah, the son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalalel, son of Canaan, son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam and Eve. This is all stated in the Hebrew tradition of keeping track of the male line of their genealogy. I am sure at Al-Karaouine, they follow the Arabic style of tracking the genealogy. What is the style of keeping track of your genealogy in your own ethnic cultural model? Are you aware of who you are, why you see the world the way you do, why you must know how to bring about products and artefacts of human thought and imagination? Why do you exist? What mark are you likely to leave behind when you finally exit the world as we know it or as it will be at the time of your exit?

Still on Al-Karaouine, in 1963 the state incorporated it into the contemporary state university system. If you want to specialize in Arabic grammar, Islamic and legal sciences in the world’s oldest university, go to Al-Karaouine, right here in Afrika. My point in all this is that meaningful university education and experience must teach you to appreciate and enhance your own heritage. That is why in 2018, the Government of Zimbabwe defined a new heritage based doctrine of education called Education 5.0. Education 5.0 has five philosophical directions:

  1. Research
  2. Teaching and Learning
  3. Scholarly Community Engagement
  4. Innovation, and
  5. Industrialisation

Colonial education had dissociated innovation and industrialisation from true education, producing white collar workers. White collar workers either served to educate some more of their kind or worked only in the service industries, serving their colonial masters, instead of creating wealth for themselves and their nation at large. Colonial settlers could study finance, banking, engineering, technology, commerce, agriculture, management and so forth, in addition to language, literature, mathematics, science, and law. Without the true wealth creating skills, all we became good at was talking cleverly in English, performing clever but aimless calculations, and doing well in the offices that defined what we could do or not do. Then came Education 5.0.

In Education 5.0, your knowledge of the humanities must enhance your understanding of who you are as an African prince or princess (because Africans are the dethroned royalty, by the way), what your ancestors gave to the world by defining civilisation and creating organised societies for the first time in what has come to be called the Tower of Babel. Yes, the King of the World at that time was King Nimrod, our ancestor. Never ever forget that, as much as the history of African royalty has been deliberately distorted by those that wanted to obliterate it. God protected it by giving our ancestors fantastic oral tradition skills of preserving history, a heritage that we almost lost during colonisation – a time when we were told that our methods of teaching knowledge, skills and aptitudes were primitive. Education 5.0 reverses that damage and restores your heritage. Your heritage empowers you to change your world and re-establish your distinguished place in it as the civilisers of the world – a role that has been hijacked long enough for you to start singing praises of the very people whose ancestors learnt what civilisation was from your ancestors.

You might be tempted to do that because colonial education lingered around long enough for those that knew better to die off without passing their knowledge skills and aptitudes to those that first tasted the coloniser’s education system. This latter system was aimed at creating workers for the mines and factories meant to provide inputs into the colonisers’ economies back home. Up to this very day, just check out Africa’s trade patterns – they are focused on exports to Europe and North America.

The point I am making here is that in Zimbabwe and at NUST, in particular, we have introduced a heritage-based educational system. By the time you graduate, you will have had a chance to demonstrate that the primary attribute you have as an Afrikan with a “k” is imagination. It enhances your creativity, and the consequent capacity to invent or innovate. You and all the classes in the 2020-2021 academic year are the first beneficiaries of the new set of curricula. These curricula stress that the content of each degree programme must be common to all those in that profession worldwide. Then 20% of the content of each programme must have the distinctive values that each university stands for.

At NUST, our Motto is

Think in Other Terms

In other words, when nothing else avails itself to help you come up with a solution to you challenges, change the way you view the situation, re-define your thinking mode, brainstorm on possible solution models, evaluate each one, decide on the way forward and boldly implement your solution. Above all, validate that your new-found solution actually addresses the original problem, while minimising undesired consequences.

 

Value Statements

  1. In the delivery of value to our clients, we pursue academic excellence with integrity, honesty and ethical behaviour.
  2. We are committed to responsible research and innovation that drives commercialisation and industrialisation.
  3. We thrive on mutual respect, teamwork and effective partnerships.
  4. We are driven by a passion to fulfil your career dream.

Why are we sold on these values? The answer to that will emerge as you journey through your respective curricula at NUST. Suffice it for me to state our mission and our vision, which give impetus to our service to you.

Mission

To lead in human capital development for industrial and socio-economic transformation, with a bias towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based solutions.

 

Vision

To be a world class University in science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and business development, spearheading industrialisation locally and beyond.

Concluding Remarks

With those words on what to expect at NUST over the next few years, I would like to exhort you to be proud of your common heritage as Zimbabweans. Zimbabweans are known for their love of education, for their adherence to the very highest standards in whatever they do, their diligence and their passionate pursuit of excellence. We have now introduced the difference that is an emphasis on linking our own heritage to our education, ensuring that our education results in wealth creation for ourselves, not somebody else out there. It will be an indication that we have succeeded, when each one of you will have started some serious business before you graduate – even in your first year. We have an entire Division of Innovation and Business Development to support such initiatives.

 

 

Connect with us

National University of Science & Technology
PO Box AC 939, Ascot, Bulawayo
Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 292 282842
Fax: +263 292 286803

 

 

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