General News of Sunday, 18 November 2012
More qualified Senior High School (SHS) graduates may not gain admission into public universities from the next academic year (2013/2014) if infrastructural facilities remain as they are now.
This situation will arise because there will be two streams of SHS graduates - the last batch of the four-year SHS graduates, and the first batch of the three-year SHS graduates where the expected number of qualified students will rise.
Public universities may stretch their infrastructure and facilities to their elastic limits but this will still not ensure that all the very qualified applicants will be admitted.
Professor Haruna Yakubu, Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), gave the hint during the 13th congregation of the university, which was held at its Tamale Campus on Saturday.
In all, 3,899 graduands, who successfully fulfilled the requirements for the award of Bachelor’s and Diploma qualifications received their certificates while an additional 56 graduate students were awarded certificates in PhD, Master of Philosophy, Master of Artss and Master of Science qualifications.
The congregation, which also marked the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the UDS, attracted dignitaries including Mr Mahama Ayariga, Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister and representatives of sister universities including Prof Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
Prof Yakubu he said, “if this option is feasible, the funds from government must be released early and now to allow the universities adequately prepare to provide the needed facilities and infrastructure” to accommodate the students.
He said, “We need to be bold, and act now. We need to bite the bullet when and where this is necessary.”
Prof Yakubu stated that the UDS Administration was implementing a number of initiatives to enhance academic exercise, saying it had procured a video conferencing facility to be installed at its Wa Campus as it had done for the Navrongo and Nyankpala campuses.
He further announced that “UDS is in the process of setting up a Video Teleconferencing Centre with a sitting capacity of 25 for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.”
He thanked the government and the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for their support through the provision and improvement of infrastructure and academic facilities at the various campuses of the UDS.
He, however, appealed to the government for an increase in budgetary allocation for the university taking into consideration its multi-campus nature.
In a speech read for him, President John Mahama repeated that to one would continue to provide infrastructure to make education accessible to all.