He said that the number of universities in the country has increased, thus it was high time dons cooperated to ensure that solutions for various problems are reached. Speaking on behalf of Dr Shein at the climax of UDSM's year-long 50 years anniversary celebrations, Zanzibar First Vice-President Seif Sharif Hamad, expressed concern over laxity in undertaking science subjects, cautioning that if the trend is left unchecked, all efforts will be futile.
He challenged UDSM dons to intensify their efforts in research and academic consultancies to make it not only the best university in Africa, but also win universal recognition. 'The university has done more to be praised, it has produced a number of think tanks in Africa, yet more efforts are still needed to ensure that UDSM places itself at the top by producing first class scholars and well researched works," he said.
The celebrations also marked the beginning of the construction of multi-billion shillings students centre at the UDSM campus and the launch of UDSM 2061 vision. Over 40 academicians were awarded various certificates to recognize their contributions in the field of politics, economics and other social-related activities.
Earlier, when briefing Mr Hamad on the student centre project, the UDSM Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Yunus Mgaya, said that the university has already raised 3.4bn/- for the construction of the centre. Prof Mgaya said that over 10bn/- is required to complete the construction, however, he said that the 3.4bn/- that had been raised was enough to start the construction.
Detailing on the funds that have been collected, Prof Mgaya said that 1.5bn/- came out of a fund-raising event that was led by President Jakaya Kikwete in Dar es Salaam, 1.4bn/- from internal sources and other 500m/- was raised by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Uganda.
He said that students admission at the university has tremendously increased therefore resulting into critical shortage of hostels, areas for studying and recreational areas, thus students' centre project was vital in addressing such challenges. "In 1961 when the university started, we had only 13 students but the number has significantly shot up to over 15,000 students in 2011/2012, this has created a number of shortcomings including shortage of hostels and lecture theatres," he said.
UDSM Vice-Chancellor, Prof Rwekaza Mukandala said the university was now sharp-eyed to implement its 2061 vision which, among other things, is meant to make it a leading centre of intellectual wealth in the world. Outlining some of the things to be observed in the 2061 vision, Prof Mukandala said that the university is set to strengthen efforts in research works, academic consultancy services and constructing more hostels to accommodate up to over 5,000 students.
Prof Mukandala also said that the university is set to ensure that the quality of education it offers meets international standards and was also going to consider gender balance in most of its programmes.