The Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana (UG) will re-introduce a direct entry into the Bachelor of Law (LLB) programme for senior high school (SHS) graduates from 2011-2012, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Clifford Nii Boi Tagoe, has announced.
'This will see the Faculty of Law operating a mixed intake system, with one cohort comprising first degree holders and the other SHS graduates,' he said.
Prof Tagoe made this known at the second congregation of the 2009/2010 academic year at the University of Ghana, Legon, Saturday.
He said with the current effort to revert to the three-year SHS programme, the university was examining various scenarios for the admission of graduates from SHS to the university in the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years.
He called for prompt action to settle the issue of the duration of the SHS to enable the University of Ghana and other tertiary institutions to make concrete plans towards admitting SHS graduates.
At the congregation, 4,500 students graduated. They were made up of 551 diploma and certificate graduates, 3,471 undergraduates and 478 postgraduates. The postgraduates included 10 PhDs, many of whom are teaching staff of the university.
Eleven per cent of the undergraduates graduated with first-class degrees, 27 per cent with second-class (upper division), 52 per cent with second class (lower division).
Thirteen per cent of the diplomates obtained distinctions.
Prof Tagoe said with the enrolment of 12,730 new students, the University of Ghana now had a total student population of 35,683, explaining that the number included 4,437 students at the Accra City Campus and another 4,532 undertaking their studies by distance mode.
Also, in the number are 3,196 postgraduate students and 3,596 students on modular sandwich programmes.
He said a new postgraduate course in Clinical Psychology had been introduced in the Department of Psychology, adding that 'the course will enable students to acquire knowledge of the basic principles of Clinical Neuropsychology and obtain basic knowledge on the assessment and rehabilitation of patients with a variety of neurological conditions'.
Additionally, a Master of Arts programme in Public Affairs will start in the Department of Political Science in August. “The programme, which will be run over two long vacation periods, will contribute to the establishment of capacity building initiatives to support governance, democracy and development,' he said.
Prof Tagoe, who will be retiring on July 31, this year, after 25 years of service, said applicants for admission to the Bachelor of Arts programme would, from the 2010-2011 academic year, be offered sets of subject groups, instead of individual subjects, as was the case previously.
He said the university’s requirements for graduation had undergone changes in content and structure, the requirements being Language Skills and Academic Writing, Critical Thinking, Logic Behaviourism, Liberal and African Studies, Numeracy and Science and Technology.
The Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mr Kofi Annan, said the university, faced with growth and its vitiating impact, for about the past two decades, had had to grapple with the problems associated with growth.
'So much has been achieved, yes, but because there is still so much more to do, so little seems to have been done. It is against this background that the University of Ghana proposes to launch an Endowment Fund later this year,” he hinted.
'If the problems of higher education can be reduced to the problems of growth, the problems of growth can, in turn, be reduced to those of inadequate resources,' he said.
The point, therefore, he said, was to enlist the support of all stakeholders and friends of the university everywhere for the University of Ghana Endowment Fund.
Mr Annan said from very humble beginnings a little over 60 years ago in 1948, and with a student population of just 49, the University of Ghana now had more than 34,000 students.
The Chairman of Unilever Ghana Limited, Mr Charles Cofie, who was the guest of honour, said Ghana's success as an emerging market with great potential would depend on companies and institutions that could create new knowledge that resulted in innovative products and services in the marketplace.
'Our success will depend on people, like our graduands today, who have a passion for their businesses, who generate new ideas, ways of doing things that result in new technology that in turn drives innovation or successful adaptation of existing innovation.
'It is not about extolling the virtue of trying harder at what we have been doing for the past 50 years. It is not a repackaging job of one government with another. It is about revolution, not violent revolution but a revolution of ideas and a bias for action,' he said.
Ms Geraldine Asiwome Adiku, on behalf of the 2009 graduating class, urged the university not to rest on its laurels but improve on its services.
She expressed worry over the upward trend of stealing at the halls of residence and called on the university authorities to intensify security on campus.