THE Vice Chancellor of the National University of Science and Technology, Professor Lindela Ndlovu, has urged students to register to vote. Prof Ndlovu was addressing members of the Nust Students' Representative Council, faculty representatives and the institution's senior management team comprising of directors, deans and principal officers, during a leadership induction for student leaders in Bulawayo this week.
He urged students to take part in the upcoming referendum and elections, saying one of the university's roles was to impart students with skills and knowledge that make them responsible citizens.
"We have elections coming and students have their own views, but it is important for them to register to vote and make sure that they participate in the voting process because it is part of being responsible citizens. Nust has a sizeable population of 6 500 and if all these students do not vote they would be robbing the country," said Prof Ndlovu.
He said it was useless for the students to make noise about political issues in the country and not register to vote.
"We have a number of programmes that we are running as a university to make sure that students take part in the voting process of the country. It is pointless for them to complain about issues that affect the country and ignore the voting process. We want to see all students voting in the coming elections," said Prof Ndlovu.
He also urged the students to uphold the vision and mission of the institution, saying they were also part of the management team of the university.
"Students should avoid engaging in behaviour that is against the core values of the university. Anything that negates the core values of the university should be avoided at all costs. Our vision as Nust is to be a world-class centre of excellence in teaching and learning, research, innovation and entrepreneurship for sustainable development.
"Our mission is to contribute positively towards the advancement of humanity through the provision of knowledge based solutions to scientific, technological, economic and social challenges," said Prof Ndlovu.
The Vice Chancellor said the achievement of the mission would be guided by core values, which are honesty and integrity, innovativeness, excellence and diligence, intellectual freedom, equity, social and environmental responsibility.
However, the students' representatives expressed concern over lack of accommodation at the institution and the problems of the cadetship programme.
SRC president Mr Lovejoy Nikisi-Ngorima said it was important for students to continue lobbying for better conditions within universities.
"One of the biggest challenges that we have as students is the cadetship programme. We thought we were benefiting, but it has turned out to be a misery for most students. We have also realised that it is not a revenue problem but a priority problem.
"I therefore would like to encourage my colleagues to keep on lobbying and pushing for what we want, regardless of our political affiliations. You may say you are Zanu-PF or MDC, but we are under the same cadetship programme and we have to be united to achieve our goals," said Mr Nikisi-Ngorima.
He also urged students to resolve disputes and all issues through dialogue and avoid conflict.
"There is power in dialogue and conflict does not resolve anything. The SRC is for progressive, peaceful and sustainable development. Let us work peacefully in a civilised manner," he said.