Kumasi, July 3, GNA - The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi and the University of Dortmund, Germany on Friday renewed their co-operation agreement for the continuous joint implementation of the Spatial Planning in Regions With Growing Economies (SPRING) programme at a ceremony in Kumasi.
The SPRING programme, which was jointly designed by the Faculty of Spatial Planning at the University of Dortmund and the Department of Planning, KNUST in 1984, offers a two-year Master of Science programme in Development Planning and Management for some selected students from the KNUST.
Speaking at the ceremony, Professor Kwesi Andam, Vice Chancellor of KNUST, said the extension of the co-operation agreement showed the success of the programme and the confidence the two institutions had in each other in terms of both the quality of the training services delivered and the capabilities available to continue the programme. He said about 120 Ghanaians had so far completed the programme and were employed in leading positions in diverse fields in both public and private sectors of the economy.
Professor Andam said about 115 graduates from over 30 other African countries had also completed the programme since 1985 and had been awarded degrees by the KNUST.
He said the Department of Planning had during the 2003/2004 academic year, installed a full two-year SPRING course at KNUST for Ghanaians to replace the first-year in Dortmund and second-year at KNUST arrangement, which were hitherto, being pursued under the programme. Professor Andam said KNUST was positioned to constitute a strategic mode in the SPRING network, which was currently emerging with six universities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Professor Eberhard Becker, Rector of the University of Dortmund, said about 500 students from 50 developing countries had so far benefited from the programme.
He said the idea of the programme was to exchange ideas and potentials to train professionals for the benefit of both countries.
Dr Jonas Yaw Korkor, Head of the Department of Planning, KNUST, said the initial idea of the programme was to train high calibre professionals for the government's decentralisation programme. He said nine students were benefiting from the programme this academic year.