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NUST to decide on a quota system for Matebeleland students

Last year we ran a story on an outcry from Matebeleland parties and civic groups on the sidelining of Matebeleland students by the National University of Science and Technology in the last year’s enrolment when the institution released a list of prospective candidates. The Chronicle today reports that NUST is contemplating on a quota system, here is an excerpt of the story:

THE National University of Science and Technology says it will decide on a quota system to accommodate students from Matabeleland region only after the applications have come in.

This follows an outcry over last year’s alleged bias against students from Matabeleland region, after the institution published a list of prospective students.

The institution yesterday opened its intake for undergraduate courses for the 2013 academic year.-Chronicle

This is the story we published in May last year: 

Political parties and pressure groups in Bulawayo have accused National University of Science Technology (NUST) of sidelining students from Matabeleland region after the institution released a list of prospective candidates with few Ndebele surnames.

They charge that the list is rich and highly punctuated with seemingly non-Ndebele speakers an indication they allege could be a sign that “foreign faces” were favoured ahead of local children.

Edwin Ndlovu Bulawayo spokesperson for the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube said that they were irked by the conspicuous absence of Ndebele surnames in the NUST list.

He said: “First and foremost I want to make this known that NUST is a higher institution of learning that is found in Matabeleland region and such it is normal and expected for it to have an obvious inclination to students from this region.”

“It is however, unfortunate if not provocative that the university seems to be forgetting and ignoring its social responsibility. Therefore we are really really disappointed as a party and we are saying this National University of Science and Technology is not helping Matabeleland and Bulawayo so we will rather do without it because it is just useless to us…”

Ndlovu further said they are challenging NUST to show recruitment statistics per province by province and show the nation how many students from this region were offered places.

Ibhetshu likazulu coordinator Mbuso Fuzwayo sailed in the same boat with Ndlovu saying the bare fact that NUST was named a science institution is another sign that it is not meant to benefit students from this region.

Fuzwayo said the region is facing challenges in the teaching of mathematics and science subjects that are however, a prerequisite for students seeking admission at NUST.

He said government has a duty of capacitating schools in the three provinces of Matabeleland with adequate facilities that would promote teaching of science subjects.

“That is what people have always been raising on issues of education to say we are marginalised, it has been strategically done that they put NUST in Bulawayo but at the same time they make sure that schools that should feed NUST don’t have enough science equipment,” he said.

They also concurred that such “imbalances and marginalisation” can only be addressed through adoption of devolution of power as a new system of governance.

Observers have also raised objections about nationalisation of the University saying it takes away its regional responsibilities. It seems like all the problems bedeviling this region are skeptically dealt with under the banner of national interests.

Efforts to get a comment from NUST spokesperson Felix Moyo were fruitless as he was said to be in a series of meetings.

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