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THREE students and a staff member at Midlands State University (MSU) committed suicide in one semester between March and August this year.

The shocking details were revealed during a memorial service held at the university on Wednesday.

MSU chaplain, Reverend Menson Mpofu, said they had gathered to remember the departed students and commit the semester to God.

"The purpose of the church service is to commit and dedicate the beginning of the July to November 2014 semester to God, welcome the new students, welcome back our returning students and staff and to memorialise the lives of our departed beloved students, our staff members and relatives of our staff members," Rev Mpofu said.

Those who committed suicide include Archbold Zimuto, a BA Archaelogy level two student who died on April 11, 2014 in Rusape, Prince Simbaneuta, a level one Human Resources Management student and Nyasha Diba, a BCom Business Management level three student.

A staff member in the cleaning department, Tinashe Shava, died on July 15 after committing suicide.

Sources said they are concerned with the high number of cases of suicide at the institution of higher learning.

A parent from Mkoba suburb, Pamela Sibanda, said pressure associated with expectations at institutions of higher learning could have contributed to the high number of suicides.

"The departed could have succumbed to pressures at colleges that include high trend lifestyles," Sibanda said.

A social scientist, Caven Masuku, said economic hardships faced by students in trying to balance academic and social life could also be the reason for the suicides.

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