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Tertiary Education is on brink of crisis - Yamson

31 January 2002 | Education

Tertiary education stands on the brink of crisis if a radical approach is not applied to the provision of that level of education in the country, Dr Ishmael Yamson, Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Ghana, said on Wednesday.

"The facts are stark and sobering," he said. "All indications are that if some resolute action is not taken soon, a social and economic catastrophe of unprecedented proportions is likely to occur," he added.

Dr Yamson was speaking at the launch of the University of Ghana's second 10-year corporate strategic plan to provide a blueprint for strategic leadership and management of the University.

The first strategic plan was launched in 1993 when the university recognised the need to embark on some fundamental and far-reaching innovations to effect change and stimulate growth. This was in recognition to the prevailing economic, social and political conditions in the country and how they were impacting on education in general.

Dr Yamson, who spoke on: "Improving Organisational Performance; The Role of Strategy In The Context of Education"; said the government, which had to date been the main source of the University's financial sources, was itself struggling to define the role that it should play within the sector.

He said demand for tertiary education had increased with the increase in population and the widening realisation that a University degree was essential to the economic realisation of the individual.

The average subvention per student per annum paid by government to the University had decreased from 2,360.74 dollars in the 1991/92 academic-year to 585.60 dollars last academic year.

He said the value of economic staff remuneration had seen constant erosion over the past 25 years and "the result has been a massive brain drain of the best existing and potential academic talents from the system with a demand on retired and sometimes tired professors and lecturers."

Dr Yamson said the University of Ghana had selected an approach, which had a strong bias toward pragmatism both in the development of the plan and its execution.

He said the approach would be integrative whilst providing the focus for and the context in which all facets of the organisation could develop supportive subordinate plans.

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