In a press statement, Midlands State University (MSU) dismissed reports that it received a dissertation with a title “An analysis of Facebook debates on Zodwa Wabantu’s ban from Zimbabwe’s Harare Festival” that is circulating on the social media.
In the statement MSU said that students are still working on their dissertations which are yet to be submitted. The statement reads:
It has come to the attention of the University that a dissertation cover page with the title “An analysis of Facebook debates on Zodwa wa Bantu’s ban from Zimbabwe’s Harare Festival” that is purported to be a cover page of a dissertation submitted to MSU, is circulating on social media and this has led to unfortunate and misinformed speculations about the institution, staff and students.
The impression that has been created on social media, as a result of the viral image, is that the University has received a document with the said cover page or it has already been examined. While we acknowledge the amount of interest this viral image has created, we wish to bring to the attention of our publics a few points that may assist in framing the discussions.
Students are still working towards the submission of their dissertations for examination. All successfully completed dissertations — those which would have passed the test of rigour and quality — are submitted to the University and can be accessed from our institutional repository via the University library. Because dissertations are examination documents, the University does not distribute or share them, wholly or in part, with the public through non-official platforms.
Students work on their dissertations for a minimum period of two semesters although the actual writing takes place in their final semester when they register for the dissertation module.
The University upholds the spirit of creativity, ingenuity and academic freedom, for both students and staff, as long as these meet set conditions for quality and rigour. We have a tested system of checks and balances to achieve these goals. Therefore, a research on any topic or theme will still be tested for these conditions.