THE National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has developed a new degree programme, a Bachelor of Engineering Honours Degree in Telecommunications Engineering in partnership with telecommunications provider, TelOne.
The degree programme aims to provide a more advanced telecommunications training, increase profitability and churn highly qualified skilled manpower in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) field.
This degree programme would be carried out at TelOne’s Centre of Learning, supervised by NUST’s engineering department.
To seal this academic industrial cooperation, NUST and TelOne signed a Memorandum of Understanding Thursday.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Managing Director, Chipo Mtasa, said TelOne had ceased to be just a telephonic company operating landlines but had become a pacesetter in the ICT field.
“TelOne is the only company in Zimbabwe that has invested in the easy fibre optic cable to bring telecommunications, data, internet and voice to the country at an affordable price. TelOne has the capacity to provide bandwidth for the country in line with demands of internet and with the current wave of ICT – we see a lot development as there is high demand for services that come up with the internet.
“We have to keep up with the global village because of that we have to create communication channels – that is an exciting space and we should tap into skill development, read into current drive not just of the economy but of the global world,” she said.
Mtasa said the aim of this new degree programme is to churn out specialised professional who would compete with others internationally.
“We have Zimbabwean professionals doing well in the telecommunications sector in other countries such as France, United Arab Emirates and if we trace their history some came from our TelOne humble centre of learning and others from NUST. Therefore we want to bring ICT development training to another level of a really useful human capital because of the ICT space in Zimbabwe. We are not just endorsing this space but we are taking over courtesy of the expertise NUST is providing,” she said.
The TelOne boss said out of al the universities in Zimbabwe, NUST had emerged as a strategic partners not just in academia but in creating business opportunities.
“In the first phase of the partnership they worked together in establishing the curriculum, administration and faculty of the programme.Members from both parties were quite enthusiastic and keen to assist each other and brought in expertise and self directed educational approach to the fore.
“In the second phase of our partnership we have helped each other to enhance our capacity to deliver this programme. We look forward to fully exploring the opportunities that this relationship offers as our partnership develops,” Mtasa said.
NUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Lindela Ndlovu hailed the partnership with TelOne.
“This degree programme fits in with calls to collaborate with industry. We are aware TelOne could have had other options, given there are about 18 universities in Zimbabwe -inclusive of those to be established – but chose to work with us.. TelOne motto’s – Bringing you Together is in line with NUST’s – Think in Other Terms – short but memorable,” he said.
Prof. Lindela, a bio-chemist by training, said this new degree programme was fulfilling calls by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education that institutions should develop more degrees related to science and technology.
“This innovative degree programme takes the cake,” he summed.
According to TelOne Southern Region Human Resources Director, Hopewell Zinyau, the idea to create this Degree in Telecommunications Engineering was mooted in April 2010.
He said after deliberations, NUST was chosen because it was an established technology institution that had produced electronic graduate engineers.
“TelOne duly courted NUST through the latter’s electronic engineering department. It took all of five years for the idea to be worked on by staff from the two institutions to slowly but carefully work on the degree programme content, programme rules and regulations and regulations and programme administration. All the while TelOne had the opportunity and time to fine-tune its physical, human and financial resources preparation for the running of the degree programme,”he said.
This is the second partnership, NUST and TelOne have entered into.
The first signed in April, this year was on the development on ICT related research and innovation commercialisation where already a group of NUST engineering students have begun sharing ideas with TelOne.