Student Exodus Fears As Lupane University Plans Relocation

By Dumisani Nyoni

Bulawayo, September 03, 2016 – LUPANE State University (LSU) now faces a student exodus following plans by the institution to relocate to its campus this month.

LSU has been operating from rented premises dotted around Bulawayo since inception in 2005 while construction of campus facilities in Lupane, some 174km away, has been going on since 2006.

Following the completion of some of its structures this year, Vice Chancellor Professor Pardon Kuipa, Pro-Vice Chancellor Nomathemba Ndiweni and a team of staff including the registrar, librarian and bursar as well as supporting staff to the university, started work there last month.

Students and lecturers are expected to relocate from Bulawayo this month as some structures are still to be completed.

However, some students who spoke to RadioVOP said they would rather transfer to other universities than going to “rural areas”.

“As for me, I was born and bred in Bulawayo. I have never been to rural areas. As such, I am finding it very difficult to relocate from town and stay in rural areas for four good years. I would rather transfer to another university,” one student said.

Another student felt that relocating to Lupane would only increase the cost of education for them as students at a time the economy was not performing well.

“I don’t have any problem with rural areas but for me it’s costly,” she said.

“Where can I get money for rentals and other things needed at school? Here in Bulawayo I am staying with my brother and so I am not paying any rent,” said the student.

Some students said they will shift from conventional to block courses which do not require students to go fulltime.

LSU’s relocation was also met with resistance from lecturers and other university staffs.

Despite all this, the news regarding the relocation of the university to its rightful place came as a blessing to the people of Lupane and Matabeleland North in general, who were anxious to see their first university come to life.