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General News of Saturday, 26 June 2021

Source: business24.com.gh

Private universities suffer regulation bias - GTEC report

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Education Minister Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Education Minister

A report published by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), the national tertiary education regulator, has revealed that there is inequity in the regulation of public and private universities in the country.

The report, titled “Accreditation of Private Universities in Ghana—Assessment of the Mandatory Requirement for Affiliation and Mentorship”, argued that there is no equity in the process for setting up and licensing a private university as compared to a public one.

“The processes for setting up private tertiary education institutions involve registration of a company, application for authorisation, setting up of infrastructure and other teaching and learning facilities, affiliation with a chartered tertiary institution, and application for institutional and programme accreditation,” said the report.

“Other requirements include three-year renewal of institutional accreditation, three- to five-year renewal of programme accreditation, five-year cyclical review of the institution’s performance, and a ten-year minimum requirement to apply for a charter,” it added.

According to the report, for public institutions, all the foregoing processes do not apply except for programme accreditation and the five-year review.

“In fact, there seems to be a different mode of establishment of some public universities. Thus, in the public sector, there seems to be no standardised procedure for establishment and accreditation of tertiary institutions,” the report said.

It explained that in spite of the requirement for private institutions to be affiliated to chartered institutions for a minimum of 10 years, public universities—such as University for Development Studies (UDS), University for Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), University of Energy and Natural Resources (UNER), and the Technical Universities recently established—have been established as fully-fledged tertiary institutions from inception.

The report said this brings to the fore questions regarding evenness in the application of the regulations of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission to private and public institutions.

Currently, there are about 80 private and nine public universities. Out of the 80 private universities, only six have received presidential charters and are able to award their own degrees.

Meanwhile, the government has enacted the Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020, which has scrapped the affiliation policy and requires all existing private university colleges currently under affiliation to expedite action towards chartering.

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