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General News of Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Source: thefinderonline.com

Government to introduce centralised admissions system for varsities

THE Ministry of Education is planning to introduce a placement system for admission into tertiary institutions in Ghana.

This comes after a nine-member committee chaired by Professor Cliff Tagoe proposed same in the Tertiary Education Policy Document submitted on November 1, 2018 to the Ministry of Education.

The committee proposed for a Centralised University Admissions and Placement Service (CAPS) to replace the current stressful and expensive system of applying to different universities.

The draft policy document seeks to serve as a reference material that would be a distillate of key government policies on tertiary education in the country.
One proposal currently under contemplation by the Ministry of Education has also incidentally been proposed by this draft policy document.

“It is the proposal for a Centralised University Admissions and Placement Service (CAPS), which replaces the stressful and rather expensive system of applying to separate universities in Ghana with a centralised system, where the applicants list their choices of university on a single platform.

“A central administrative and technical setup then facilitates the process of placement,” the committee said.

The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof Kwesi Yankah, announced this at a workshop in Koforidua, capital of the Eastern Region.

He said exploratory visits have been made to UK and Nigeria by the Ministry of Education and vice-chancellors and registrars to understudy how the system works in the two countries.

He added that a national committee in centralised admissions for universities, to be chaired by Prof Adow Obeng, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Cape Coast, currently the President of Presbyterian University College, will be formally inaugurated on Thursday, January 17, 2019, to facilitate the process.

He stated that the Ministry of Education was fully committed to improving quality higher education in Ghana, hence the policy document would ensure institutional compliance with policy and minimise irregularities and deviations from normative practices.

Prof Yankah indicated that the document provided an opportunity to realign occasional inconsistencies between provisions in the national constitution and provisions in university acts/statutes.

He added that new and emerging realities were expected to be contained as seen in documentation on technical universities, colleges of education, private universities and associated policies.

He expressed appreciation to the committee that produced the draft policy document, and thanked participants for honouring the invitation of the ministry.

Giving an overview of the document, Prof Jonathan N. Ayertey stated that themes covered in the draft document included policies on institutional governance, equity and access, quality and relevance, admissions, entry requirements, credit conversion, the issue of relevance and academic programme development, partnership with industry, internationalisation, staff student ratio, financing tertiary education, and gender.

The ministry, in 2018, constituted a nine-member committee chaired by Professor Cliff Tagoe to deliberate and, in consultation with stakeholders, produce a draft policy document by bringing together all relevant existing documentations, distil relevant government policies, regulatory policies and legislative instruments and, taking into consideration emerging realities on the tertiary landscape, propose appropriate policy guidelines that are consistent with national vision.

The committee was also to, in the face of emerging global realities, propose additional policies and guidelines considered essential in the promotion of national interest and smooth running of tertiary institutions in Ghana.

The committee, after several months of deliberations, submitted its draft report to the ministry in November 2018.

It is upon this that the Ministry of Education has organised a retreat for stakeholders within the tertiary space to discuss and fill the vacuum in an attempt to providing a broad guideline for policy formulation with regard to tertiary education.

Participants included vice-chancellors of all state-owned universities; officials of the Ministry of Education; representatives of regulatory bodies, including the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), the National Accreditation Board (NAB), the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations (NABTEX), the Conference of Rectors and Vice-Chancellors of Technical Universities, University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU), and the Education Reform Secretariat of the Ministry of Education, as well as some celebrated educationists in Ghana.