Cape Coast, April. 19, GNA- The Reverend Professor Emmanuel Adow Obeng, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), on Monday announced that the University, has completed arrangements with the Ghana Maritime Academy, at Tema to use the academy's facilities, for short professional courses run by the African Virtual University (AVU).
The courses, which are slated to take off in June this year, will be for chief executives and journalists, and will cover information technology, communication skills and other modern computer disciplines, necessary for the enhancement of socio-economic development.
Rev. Prof. Obeng, announced this during the matriculation of 39 students admitted for the AVU's diploma and degree programmes for the 2003 academic year.
According to Rev. Prof. Obeng, the AVU, which is basically distance education, and started in the UCC two years ago, now has a total student population of 83, adding that, it has the potential to help the country address the problem of access to tertiary education.
He suggested that if permanent centres are established in the regional capitals, with well-equipped computer laboratories, video-conference facilities, AVU programmes could be accessed by many more people.
The Vice-Chancellor, however, observed that even though each of the 39 students had paid a tuition fee of 1,200 dollars for the academic year, the money was "inadequate" to ensure effective running of the programmes, and that the AVU centre had to rely on the largess of the central administration and other viable units in the university for support.
He, in this regard, appealed to the government to help ensure cheaper broadband connectivity to the universities, to make such programmes affordable to students, and to government functionaries, who, he said, have promised to assist the AVU, to endeavour to fulfil them.
Rev. Prof. Obeng advised the matriculates to abide by the rules and regulations of the UCC and to handle property there with care. The AVU, which was established in 1997, to give training to various target groups, including professionals, for accelerated technological and socio-economic growth on the continent, has more than 35 learning centres located in over 20 African countries.