Valley View University, First Private University In Ghana
The Valley View University (VVU) is currently involved in three major projects that would change the face and status of education at the university.
It is putting up facilities for the School of Nursing and Allied Health to start a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. This programme is scheduled to start in August this year.
The university is also getting ready to inaugurate a hospital on the campus to serve the university and its environs. Added to this is the intensification of recycling activities at the university.
The university's recycling projects aim at ensuring that nothing goes to waste. So at the moment waste water from the bathrooms on campus is collected with a technology which recycles the water to make it suitable for watering grasses, flowers and trees on the campus.
The recycling projects are being facilitated by some universities and institutions in Germany. These are the Bauhaus University Weimar (BUW), University of Hohenheim, Ecological Engineering Society, Berger-Biotechnik and Palutec Company.
The VVU is unique in another sense. Its 1,173 students have the opportunity for a work-study programme. This programme gives the students the opportunity to work on campus for money which they could use to support themselves.
For instance, some of them work at the university's Health Food Centre which has facilities including a bakery. They package bread for sale and are paid by the hour.
During a visit to the campus, the Daily Graphic had a chat with the President of the university, Dr Seth A. Laryea, who explained that the VVU was eager to build an outstanding campus that operated in harmony with the environment and also benefited the local communities.
He said that for this reason, a holistic ecological concept that included concepts for utilisation, traffic, water and nutrients, open, space, energy and waste have been developed.
He said that the university was the only private university which awarded its own degrees because it belonged to an accreditation system.
Dr Laryea initiated the processes and preparations that led to the university's attainment of a national accreditation as the first private university in Ghana.
The university was established in 1979 by the West African Union Mission of Seventh-Day Adventists (now called Ghana Union Conference). The main objective at the time, was to train ministers and personnel for the church. It was called the Adventist Missionary College and situated in BekwaiAshanti.
The pioneers were 19, two of them who readily came to Dr Laryea's mind were Dr David Ameyaw, who is now the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation of the US Millennium Challenge Account of the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Virginia.
The second was Mrs Lydia Daddy, Head of Finance , Investment Banking Division at the Merchant Bank.
In 1997, the university was absorbed into the Adventist University system, operated by the Africa -Indian Ocean Division of Seventh Day Adventist with headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d'ivoire.
The Adventist Missionary College was transferred to Adenta near Accra in 1983, where it operated in rented facilities until it relocated to its present site near Oyibi on the Dodowa road in 1989 and was renamed Valley View College.
The Adventist Accrediting Association has since 1983 been evaluating and reviewing the accreditation status of the institution.
In 1995, the university was affiliated to the Griggs University in Silver Springs, Maryland in the USA. This allowed the university to offer four year bachelor degrees in Theology and Religious Studies.
The National Accreditation Board granted it national accreditation in 1995, allowing the university to award her own degrees.
Dr Laryea said the university admits students from all over the world, regardless of their religious background provided such students accept the Christian principles and lifestyle which form the basis of the university's operations.
He said the focus of the university was to develop in students the ability to think critically and to develop the highest levels of human values and taste for aesthetics.
In collaboration with the Griggs University, the VVU runs a distance learning programme. In this programme, students can obtain a degree by taking a minimum of 120 hours of work.
The university also has a Women's Training Centre where women can acquire skills through short courses while in residence.
The three major projects currently taking place at the university is only a continuation of the university's plan for research and development.
In the long run, the VVU is to serve as a hub and platform for educational and training programmes, ecological companies and research projects.