29 600 places available for higher learning students

mudenge_stanHARARE -THERE are more than 29 000 places available at institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe and not 5 000 as reported in the press, according to Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge (Pictured).

Mudenge said there were “29 602 places for first years at all higher and tertiary education colleges in Zimbabwe right now”. He said 27 772 candidates had been registered last year and for candidates registered for at least two subjects, 26 595 had passed. The minister said for candidates who had passed with at least an “E” in two subjects there were 19 291 passed and the pass rate for the students last year was an impressive 74.4 percent.

“The percentage pass rate of 74.4 percent is not only commendable but something to celebrate,” Mudenge said. “This is commendable by any standard at this level anywhere in the world. Mudenge said the total number of vacancies available for the first years at State Universities stood at 11 252, while the total number of vacancies available for the first years at Private Universities stood at 1 010.

He said the total number of vacancies available for the first years at the Zimbabwe Open University was 5 440, while the total number of vacancies for first years at Teachers Colleges stood at 4 100. Mudenge said the total number of vacancies available for the first years at Polytechnics stood at 7 800 while that for first years at all Higher and Tertiary Education Colleges in Zimbabwe was an impressive “29 602”.

“It is not my wish to comment extensively on those statistics except to mention that Teachers’ Colleges and Polytechnics do also take students with ‘O’ Levels besides those with ‘A’ Levels,” Mudenge said. “Having said that I acknowledge that the growing numbers of ‘A’ Level candidates require that my ministry work urgently to produce a plan to cope with the increasing numbers.”

The minister said his ministry would construct outstanding state universities for Matabeleland South, Manicaland, and Mashonaland East Provinces. He said his ministry would also create more space at existing universities.

“This, in my opinion should, and will have to be done,” Mudenge said. “But we are again constrained by resources-human, material and financial requirements. Yet this option must be pursued. For this purpose I am going to create a task force which will liaise with all the existing universities so that these universities can indicate how many extra candidates can be absorbed at their institutions.”

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