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Opinions of Monday, 27 July 2020

Columnist: Mohammed Rabiu Adam

The uniqueness of University of Environment and Sustainable Development

The natural environment is made up of composition of both living and non-living organisms in the air, land and sea. The land provides the existence for animals and plants whereby the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air are exchange in proportion. Human beings and other animals constituted the highest dominants in the environment.

Man’s continuously utilization of the natural resources in the environment has led to depletion of some of the resources without or less attention to replenish the losses for the future generations. Ghana’s quest to ensure sustainability of all organisms in the eco-system, development of agro-business and human existence among other factors have led to establishment of University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) through an act of parliament.

The newest university added to the already existing ones being UESD is located in the Trom-Somanya in the Yilo Krobo municipality in Eastern Region. The university sits on 521 hectare. The UESD is embodied with some uniqueness beyond the existing public universities in terms of the facilities and courses to be studied.

The primary aim of the UESD is to provide avenue for acquisition, dissemination and research-based knowledge that will ensure sustainability of the environment and agro-business. The University of Environment and Sustainable Development Bill 2014 specifically section 2 (2) empowered the institution to set up faculties’ such as Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Applied Agriculture, Built Environment, Sustainable Development and any other Faculties in the perspectives of Applied Agriculture and Environment in the near future.

The contractor used 24 months to complete the phase one of the project at a cost of €45,575,000. The parliament has already approved the budget for the phase two to commence.

The 2020/2021 academic will witness the admission of the first batch of the students at the Trom-Somanya campus. The first degree program to be studied at the UESD will lead to awarding of Bachelor of Science certificates to deserving students upon successful completion of both the University and Faculty requirements, and specialised course studied. Some of these courses are Water Resources Development, Energy Sustainability, Environment and Public Health, Environmental Sciences and Education, Environmental Technology and Information, and Geography and Earth Science.

The rest are Chemistry and Biological Sciences, Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics, and Biological and Mathematical Sciences. These courses will arguably help to produce human resources capable of ensuring the preservation of the natural environment for the existence of man and other living organism in the eco-system.

In terms of facilities to enable, the young university to ensure adding value to the human resource development for the national growth includes academic buildings, accommodation for both staff and students, recreational centres and others. The multi-purpose lecture halls are designed to accommodate students without any difficulties. Other facilities are conference room, and computer research rooms.

The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has constituted interim council members. The council and management members will have a peculiar task to prove to Ghanaians that indeed, they have the requisite educational qualifications, experiences with innovation, creativity and ingenuity to propel UESD achieve its objectives in both medium and long terms.

The interim council members have Professor Jonathan N. Ayertey as the Chairman with other members being Professor Eric Nyarko as the VC, Mrs Efua Easaba Agyire Tettey, Professor John Blay, Ing. Johannes Twumasi Mensah and Mrs Gina Odartefio.

Professor Eric Nyarko as the interim Vice Chancellor, Mrs Mary A. Agyepong as Registrar and Mr Barfour Awuah Kwabi for the Finance office lead the management team to ensure day-to-day management and administrative guidelines for the university until such time full-scale employment has been done. The UESD presence in the Eastern Region implies that the region now has a public university like others. The closing date for the purchase of admission form is 31st July 2020.