Victoria Falls — Captains of industry have urged the government to cut on the number of state universities, saying some of them are adding no value to the economy.
Industry representatives who attended a Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) Business Leaders Conference here recently expressed concern at the quality of graduates coming from the country's institutions of higher learning.
They said some graduates are 'useless' to the industry as they are out of sync with their trades and thus become a burden to the employer.
Speaking at the SAZ 5th conference Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Chris Mugaga said some universities were adding no value to the economy.
"In terms of the education sector, there are too many state universities in the country," he said.
"Let's reduce them and also change the curriculum because a majority of them concentrate of social sciences when the country requires engineers."
Participants at the conference challenged the education sector to embrace international standards in order to produce competitive graduates.
"The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology is the foundation of ideas hence should be the centre of research and development," said one conference delegate.
"The challenge is that students that join the industry don't properly meet requirements in terms of holistic work.
"Institutions of higher learning should embrace world standards so as not to produce half-baked graduates."
Some of the county's state universities include Bindura University of Technology, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Great Zimbabwe University, Gwanda State University, Lupane State University, Midlands State University, University, National University of Zimbabwe among others.
As part of conference resolutions, participants recommended that SAZ should facilitate stronger collaboration with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology to enforce standards in colleges and universities so that students are better prepared before being released to the industry.