You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2018 11 13Article 700423

Opinions of Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Columnist: Atanga Emmanuel

Conversion of UDS into autonomous universities is the 'brain child' of Mahama - YAM-Ghana

The Ghana Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM-GH) humbly writes to congratulate President Akufo-Addo on his decision to convert the University of Development Studies (UDS) into autonomous universities and state emphatically that the initiative was conceived by his predecessors and hence should not be presented as his initiative.

We congratulate UDS for contributing significantly to the development of Ghana. And wishes them a Happy silver jubilee.

Now! setting the records straight, it was the NDC government under the able leadership of President Jerry John Rawlings, who conceived the Establishment of this noble institution, UDS in 1993 with an initial investment of $50,000.

This explains Why under the leadership of President J.A Kuffour, there was a decision by the University council to rename the University after JJ Rawlings of which the Government at the time kicked against it.

Its however sad to note from President Akufo-Addo’s address, the deliberate attempt to take credit for the conversion policy despite the fact that his predecessor, President John Mahama is the one who deserves the credit for pioneering the initiative.

The UDS Conversion Policy was championed by former President John Mahama who gave guidelines to the Ministry of Education to ensure that this policy which was contained in the NDC 2012 Manifesto was pursued.

The Ministry of Education then appointed a team of experts in 2014 to look into the policy proposal and make appropriate recommendations. Members of the team included:

1.Dr. Christina Amoako-Nuama (Convener)

2.Prof. Mahama Duwiejua

3.Prof. Eric Yirenkyi Danquah

4.Prof. Thomas Akabzaa

5.Dr. Kofi Osei Darkwa

6.Dr. Callistus Mahama

7.Mr. Solomon Asoalla

8.Mr. Louis Atongo

9.Ms. Nadeene Anti

This Team together with the Ministry of Education presented the UDS Conversion Report to President Mahama in June, 2016.

The ministry of Education then again presented their findings and made recommendations for the way forward. The three campuses (Tamale/Nyankpala, Navrongo and Wa) of the University of Development Studies have well established programmes.

The Tamale/Nyankpala campus is made up of the following units: School of Medicine and Health Science, School of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Agribusiness and Communication Sciences, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, and School of Engineering.

The Navrongo campus consists of two Faculties: namely the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Mathematics while the Wa campus has the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies, Faculty of Planning and Land Management, School of Business and Faculty of Education as its constituent units.

The Committee recommended that each campus be converted into an autonomous University, with its current programmes as the nucleus of each new university.

And further recommended that the autonomous Universities concentrate on the programmes for which they have comparative advantage in the short term (i.e during the first three years of operation).

In the medium term (four to six years), the Universities may seek approval from the National Council for Tertiary Education and the National Accreditation Board to introduce programmes.

The Committee recommends that the conversion of the campuses into autonomous Universities should take effect from August 2017. There will be cohorts of students enrolled in the University of Development Studies (UDS) when the conversion takes effect.

It is expected that these students will remain students of the UDS until their graduation. Transitional arrangements should be made to accommodate this and other related matters.

There was the need for deep consultations with all local stakeholders in the three Regions to ensure that there is understanding of the issues at stake to facilitate a smooth transition from a single multi-campus University to three autonomous Universities.

The proposed names for the autonomous universities are: University for Development Studies (Tamale), University of Technology and Applied Sciences (Navrongo), University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (Wa). These names are tentative.”

It is obvious from the new names to be given to the autonomous universities as announced by President Akufo-Addo over the weekend that they are EXACTLY what is contained in the Dr. Christina Amoako-Nuamah report.

The Mahama Administration additionally prepared and left behind Draft Proposed Bills for the two new Universities and a Schedule to amend the UDS Law, 1992 (P.N.D.C.L 279).

Per the Roadmap; which is also confirmed by the Executive Summary above, and as was announced by President Mahama in Wa on July 8, 2016.

President Akufo-Addo must understand that governance is a continuum and explain to Ghanaians why the conversion process delayed under his watch up till now.

We state emphatically that there is no need for conveying cabinet Meetings on the matter once again. Rather, Government should continue the conversion process by simply bringing the Draft Bills and UDS Amendment inherited.


Mr Atanga Emmanuel

Director Of Policy And Research

Ghana Youth Advocacy Movement