General News of Saturday, 18 May 2019
The government said it has met with the management and student leaders of the University of Ghana concerning the alleged privatisation of some halls of residence.
A statement from the Education Ministry read: “The Minister of State, In Charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah met with the management of the University of Ghana and the leadership of the student body on the alleged privatisation of UGEL hostel.”
This follows calls by the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the University on the government to intervene in the University management’s decision to privatise some halls to defray a judgement debt ruling.
The privatisation is to enable the University management offset a GHS43 million loan it acquired to build the halls which has shot up to GHS528 million because of interest and failure to repay at the stipulated time.
The students, however, say the privatisation of the four halls - Hilla Limann, Alexander Adum Kwapong, Elizabeth Frances Sey and Jean Nelson Aka Halls - are likely to lead to an increase in prices at the halls.
The statement from the Education Ministry, however, urged the students “to exercise restraint as steps are being taken to resolve the impasse.”
Below is the full statement:
On this day 17th of May 2019, the Ministry of Education led by the Minister of State, In Charge of Tertiary Education, Prof Kwesi Yankah met with the management of the University of Ghana and the leadership of the student body on the alleged privatisation of UGEL hostel.
The Minister of State, has come to appreciate the implications of the situation of the debt burden on the University of Ghana, Legon and has indicated his readiness and that of the Ministry to meet with the leadership of the consortium of banks and the management of the University to find an amicable solution before the negotiated deadline of 31st of May 2019. However, the Minister of state explained that this matter is strictly the responsibility of the University of Ghana Council but government has expressed interest in the matter because of public interest and its implications for academic stability on university campuses.
The Ministry has appealed to the leadership of the student body to exercise restraint as steps are being taken to resolve the impasse. The Minister also drew the attention of stakeholders at the meeting to the expected influx of students in the universities in the 2020 academic year due to Free SHS policy and expressed the hope that, an amicable outcome could be reached soon.