PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES ACREDITATIONJune 29, 2009
HON. MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
QUALITY TERTIARY EDEDUCATION
We appreciate your concern for quality tertiary education in Ghana but wish to inform you of some terrible developments especially with the introduction of private tertiary institutions over a decade ago.
We have realized that many private universities in the country use names and qualifications which do not exist to process their accreditation to operate their schools. This has resulted in unqualified persons lecturing in some of the private universities in the country. Some have only first degrees and part qualifications of some professional institutions.
Furthermore, some of these institutions failed to invest in educational infrastructure such as good lecture theatres (halls), libraries, books, journals, furniture etc. Some of these universities are having lectures in cubicles. The worse of it all is that most of them do not have good software to record, store and protect students' academic records. In some cases, a result may be published on the notice board after a month when students request for their transcripts, different results are printed out with many unrealistic explanations. We have therefore realized that their main aim is money. Some increase their fees even at the middle of the year.
Some of the universities are just adding on new programmes with the approval of National Accreditation Board when they do not have the facilities, both faculty and infrastructure to run those courses. It appears NAB is not helping matters. NAB should sit up and refocus on their job. Influence from church members, politicians and so called 'bigmen' who are friends to operators of these private institutions should stop now.
Some the schools do not have the capacity to graduate students upon completion. Their administrative structure and management is just like junior high school with the so called it is my business mentality. Central University College for instant advertised an 18month MBA but close to three years they have not been able to graduate students. Where is NAB? If at least 75% of those students graduated and the rest could not, then we can blame students------ but none. We are aware that many of the private universities do not have standards to graduate students. Some are still changing grades without caution. Kindly interview students from Central University,All Nations University, Methodist University etc.
Those operating with the backing of religious bodies especially churches are trying hard to impose their religious believes on both staff and students creating unfriendly and tense learning environment. DataLink University College, Central University College, Pentecost University College, All Nations University College, Valley View University etc are examples. We know some of them are well connected business people and will soon be defended by sympathizers, that is why we are calling for immediate investigations into all these issues to rescue our tertiary education. Research publication is not encouraged in these institutions as well. In some cases some of the private universities promote their academic staff without a single publication. These must be checked before things are out of hand.
Most of these University Colleges are affiliated to public universities for mentorship and guidance but it appears the public universities are not doing well or the private universities disregard the guidance given by the public universities. All these must be investigated to restore sanity and respect for our degrees.
We request unbiased and effective NAB
NAB should audit the list of names and qualifications presented for accreditation to ensure that the individuals exist and work with the institution and whether the qualifications are valid
NAB should regulate the number of hours lecturing and teaching should be conducted per lecturer per week. Some lecture in what have become Morning, Afternoon, Evening and Weekend Schools pushing their credit hours in excess of 20hours per week per lecturer.
Government and NAB should introduce tenure system to ensure research publications by lecturers in the country.
The media should be interested in what is going on in the private universities. Many private universities do not provide office space for lecturers
Parliamentary Select Committee on Education
All Media Houses
Source: Cucghana Kofi