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MSU butt heads with Media students over degree scrapping

by Kudakwashe Vhenge

By Paidashe Mandivengerei

MIDLANDS State University (MSU) Media and Society studies students are up in arms with the tertiary institution to following the decision to scrap their degree programme.

This comes after Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZimChe) implemented the Minimum Bodies of Knowledge and Skills (MBK/S) which saw some degree programs being ‘modified’ and scrapped after government claimed they were producing graduates who lacked ‘innovative skills’.

One of the affected programs is the Media and Society studies degree programme at MSU Gweru campus and this has thrown students into disarray.

This was despite government assuring students that their concerns would be addressed and “not to panic”.

In a letter dated 23 November 2020, MSU deputy registrar – academic affairs, Irvine Gumbo gave the Masters class students a 3 day ‘ultimatum’ ending this Friday to either discontinue the programme or switch to Master of Arts / Master of Science in Journalism and Media Studies degree. 

“Kindly note that you have have two options on this issue, either to discontinue with the Master of Science in Media and Society Studies or you many switch over to the Master of Arts / Master of Science in Journalism and Media Studies degree.

“You are being requested to come up with a position and inform the University about your option before Friday, 27 November 2020,” read part of the letter.

In response the students requested clarification on grey areas which include name of degree programme, new modules and course lecturers.

“In our previous communication we requested that the university confirm in writing that in the event that we opted for the new degree program it will be called MASTER OF SCIENCE IN JOURNALISM AND MEDIA STUDIES. Your letter does not address that as it states ‘Master of Arts/ Master of Science’. This written confirmation will help us in coming up with an informed position.

“We also requested to be furnished with structure of the new program including the modules the institution will be adding as well as lecturers who will be taking the new courses and in your letter you do not answer to that. This taking into consideration that the structure of MSc Media and Society Studies on your website is one of the reasons that attracted us to this esteemed institution.”

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