There is need to be close linkages between industry and institutions of higher learning in order to ensure university leavers can go out and make a difference.

These were the sentiments expressed during an interaction between universities and officials from the Ministry of Higher Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development held in Masvingo.

The discussion on the need for tertiary institutions to tailor make their courses to address industrial needs continues to be a topical one.

According to Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, Dr Godfrey Gandawa, universities do not seem to be  in touch with industrial needs hence the mass production of graduates in the social sciences sector.

Dr Gandawa questioned if the country is not creating a problem by continuing to churn out graduates in already flooded sectors.

“Social sciences and humanities are important but focus now is on STEM. Are we producing the right number of social scientists? Are we not contributing to massive unemployment by overcrowding the social sciences sector’? A lot of institutions say they are already teaching STEM but that’s not the STEM we are talking about,” said Dr Gandawa.

ZIMDEF chief executive officer, Mr Fredrick Mandizvidza said if the country is to derive value addition from its minerals and other products, STEM has to be implemented effectively.

“Technology is the new language. Lower ends of the value chain do not add wealth. We need to be at the value addition and we need STEM for that,” he said.

The meeting saw vice chancellors of universities which included Bindura, the Midlands State University and Great Zimbabwe presenting the modules they offer.