Auxilia Katongomara in Chennai, India
A GROUP of Zimbabwean students on fellowship in India have commended a Government initiative for universities to incubate industry saying it is key in the transformation of the country’s medical tourism initiative.
The 10 students who are on staff development fellowship said they were looking forward to the revolution in the country’s tertiary education which they say has seen India becoming a medical powerhouse globally.
Sharing their experience at SRM University with Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and vice chancellors from the country’s 10 universities here on Wednesday, the students said their exposure at the institution had shown gaps in the country’s tertiary curriculum.
Miss Hamunyare Ndweba who is pursuing a Masters degree in pharmaceutical analysis said there was a need to synchronise industry and university curricula.
“India has really made it when it comes to educational facilities, they are very resourceful and practical. Back at home we wait to go for industrial attachment to get the experience but here institutions have centres where students spend their third or fourth year say, in a hospital getting the best expertise,” said Miss Ndweba.
She said industrial experience was crucial in influencing research and innovation.
Miss Ndweba commended Prof Moyo for taking an initiative to revolutionarise tertiary education in line with the global shift to industry oriented learning.
Mr Tatenda Musenda who is pursuing a Masters in pharmacognosy said he had learnt that hands-on experience was very important to cultivate research and innovation.
“Students here have a connection with industry for example drug manufacturing that is needed starts at tertiary level, students work on solving problems such that by the time they are done with tertiary education they would have already been integrated into industry,” said Mr Musenda.
He said there was a need for co-relation of courses back home so that they feed into each other to get better experience.
Prof Moyo challenged the students to work hard and be part of history makers through research and innovation that will contribute to the country’s economy.
The 10 students are from the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and are part of the institution’s robust capacity staff development, student exchange programmes and research collaborations.
The students are pursuing M-pharms and M-techs in chemistry, biomedical engineering, pharmacognosy, pharmacology, pharmacy practice, telecommunication and pharmaceutical analysis.
They are on a two-year programme sponsored by HIT and are expected to pursue doctorates thereafter.
HIT Vice Chancellor, Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe, said the institution’s thrust was to lay the right foundation which will become future ground for innovation.
The fast growing institution has signed MoUs with Chungnam University, Deogeng, Handong, Gachon, UMT and UIMT State universities from Malaysia.