It was double celebration at the Reformed Church University on the 28th of June. The day marked the 4th Graduation Ceremony of the University as well as the Installation of the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the Institution.
The double celebrations started with the Installation of Reverend I Pandasvika and Prof O.E Maravanyika as the 2nd Chancellor and 2nd Vice Chancellor of the Institution respectively since its inception.
Dr Mazvuru, the RCU Council Chair welcomed parents, guardians and sponsors of the graduands and expressed his admiration for the graduating class’ focus and resolve to attain their respective qualifications overcoming many obstacles along the way.
Dr Mazvuru went on to thank the numerous partners and stakeholders that have supported the university tirelessly throughout the year and who continue to do so outlining the milestones that the institution reached that included the completion of the administration block and classes The construction of hostels to cater for students accommodation was now at roof level.
In his speech the RCU chancellor, Rev Isaac Pandasvika, who is the RCZ moderator, said the university will continue to do well in the coming years and will be one of the best universities in Zimbabwe.“RCU will continue to thrive for the next 100 years and beyond. He (the Lord) shall be greater, I shall be less (John 3:30),” said Reverend Pandasvika.
153 students from various disciplines in the Faculty of Commerce, Faculty of Education and Social Sciences including ECD and Special needs Education. Of the 153 graduates, 54.6 percent were female which speaks to the university’s commitment to ensuring gender parity and equal access to opportunity, an objective that is in line with those set forth in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the development agenda of regional and continental bodies such as the African Union. To cap it all, Mutakwa Arina Tariro won the overall best student award, graduating with a Bachelor of Education Honors Degree in Special Needs Education.
The Reformed Church University, Vice-Chancellor, Professor O.E. Maravanyika said, the institution had attained several milestones, despite an unfavorable operating environment. He highlighted that the main challenge has been the non-availability of ZESA power. “Fortunately, we hope that within the next few weeks the university will be on the national grid as we have already purchased a transformer and ZESA employees are on the ground”, he said.
Professor Maravanyika also pointed out that students accommodation was another source of concern. Being out of town and away from residential areas the university needed accommodation on campus. ‘’We cannot wait to finish building the halls of residence but even that will not be enough. Besides there is no reliable transport between the university and town. We are collecting funds for a student’s bus deposit but given the rampant inflation it will take us time to collect enough money for that’’, pointed out the Vice Chancellor. Prof Maravanyika said RCU would soon hold a workshop to roll out its five-year strategic plan from 2020 to 2024.
It was also a momentous occasion for the graduands as they were all inducted into the RCU Alumni Association by the Vice Chancellor Professor Maravanyika and they had this to say “I pledge to join the Reformed Church University Alumni Association and act as a goodwill ambassador through mutually beneficial partnerships with the University .Help me God”
The ceremony was graced by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education Prof Kuzvinetsa Peter Dzvimbo whose address was received with great enthusiasm and gratitude by those in attendance and he praised RCU for the progress it has made over the past few years. He also urged the all university staff to broaden their knowledge in order grow the institution’s scholarly reputation.
“The number of professors that the institution has is qualifies it to be a university and I challenge all lecturers here who are not yet professors to improve their knowledge and become professors. We have a crisis in the country and now, universities must change their genetic code. Innovation is what the university should move for,” said Professor Dzvimbo.
Professor Nzvimbo expressed confidence that Prof Maravanyika and Reverend Pandasvika would take RCU to higher academic heights. “ZIMCHE has abundant faith that the two, Reverend Pandasvika and Professor Maravanyika will spearhead exponential academic growth of the RCU,” said Prof Nzvimbo. “It is our anticipation, as ZIMCHE that the RCU would maintain the highest degree of academic excellence.
“ZIMCHE implores the RCU to foster heritage-based inclusive education, which values human capital for socio-economic development, as encapsulated in the 2030 national vision and the Transitional Stabilization Programme (TSP).ZIMCHE would like expresses gratitude to the Reformed Church of Zimbabwe (RCZ) board and the RCU’s senate for religiously adopting educational policies put in place by the Second Republic,” said Prof Dzvimbo.