MASVINGO - A total of 147 students last week took part in the Reformed Church University (RCU)'s third graduation ceremony which was held at the institution's new main campus.
Of that number, 70 percent were females, marking a significant improvement in the representation of women in the university's student base.
The ceremony was the first to be held at the new campus which became operational in February this year after moving from Morgenster Mission.
Female students numbered 103 while males were 44, a ratio which RCU acting Vice Chancellor, Dr Enos Chomutiri said testified to the university's commitment a more gender balanced society.
Also present at the ceremony was the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Professor Amon Murwira who said the education system should bring hope through its products, with universities being expected to be places where hope is found.
Murwira challenged graduates to be innovative and create their own jobs rather than to wait for the government to provide for them.
"Universities should be places of hope; our education system should bring hope through its products and our graduands should tell us what they can do for the nation using the skills they would have acquired in universities, not us telling them what to do," said Murwira.
He urged the students to start small and become big, saying everybody should use available resources to innovate.
"You need to start small to become big but you need to do it fast. You cannot call yourself a hunter of big game when you have not caught even a mouse, you need to use the available resources. Those who constructed the Great Zimbabwe looked around and saw stones and made good use of them," said Murwira.
Eight students graduated from the Faculty of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies while 29 were in the Faculty of Commerce studying for the Business Management degree.
A total of 19 students graduated with degrees in Public Administration while the rest graduated from the faculties of Education and Social Sciences.
Last year, RCU received three prestigious awards being the Award for Digital Financial Services Innovation and the Christian University of the Year Award.
The third accolade was taken by former Vice Chancellor, Professor Wiseman Magwa who was named Academic Leader of the Year.education