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17.08.2004 Education

Funding University Education should be a co-operative effort - UK Envoy

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H.E. Mr. Isaac Osei, Ghana's envoy to the United Kingdom has said in London that funding university education should be a co-operative effort of all stakeholders.

He dismissed claims that government's subvention for the running of Ghanaian universities was dwindling and pointed out that universities all over the world were grappling with the rising cost of university education.

He pointed out that resources channelled by the Government into the tertiary sector had increased substantially to keep pace with the increasing cost of University education.

However, since there are not enough resources to cope with the increasing demands, he called on all stakeholders namely, the private sector, civil society, the Alumni, parents and students to assume a greater responsibility for the running of our universities.

Mr. Isaac Osei made the call at the National Congress of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Alumni Association in London under the theme 'The role and place of the Alumni in enhancing higher education in Ghana'.

Dignitaries present at the congress included Mr. Kwabena Baah-Duodu, Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Kobby Mensa-Kuma, Interim President UK (KNUST) Alumni and his executives.

Professor Kwesi Andam, Vice-Chancellor of (KNUST) led an eleven-member delegation to the Congress. They included Professor K. Adarkwa, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor J.K. Kwakye, Dean, School of Pharmacy, Professor Mireku-Gyimah, Principal, University College of KNUST, Tarkwa and Professor S.O. Asiamah and Dean, Institute of Land & Management Administration.

Other members of the delegation were Professor E.T. Agbenyaga, Dean, School of Medical Sciences, Professor E.A. Jackson, Dean, School of Engineering, Professor Ofori Amankwa, Dean, Faculty of Law, Professor D.B. Okai, Dean, School of Agriculture, Professor Aboagye-Menyah, Dean, Faculty of Science as well as other Heads of Departments.

Mr. Osei stated that the NPP Government had embarked on the improvement and expansion of existing infrastructure of both Polytechnics and Universities in fulfilment of its constitutional mandate of making education accessible to all sections of the society.

'Under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, Government is supporting private sector and civil society involvement in tertiary education through fundraising, curriculum development and access to loan schemes' said the High Commissioner.

In keeping with its core goal as the premier Technological University in Ghana, High Commissioner said 'products of KNUST have offered Ghana a myriad of practical solutions which have spawned new businesses in many sectors of the economy'.

Professor Andam announced that KNUST had been admitted into the Alliance for Global Sustainability, a think-tank comprising five top universities of the world which provides technical advise to the United Nations on issues pertaining to sustainable development.

He indicated that plans for the establishment of a Faculty of Aeronautic Engineering, the first in the sub-sahara Africa, in collaboration with leading universities in the USA had reached an advanced stage.

Professor Andam explained that KNUST had began to show leadership through the publication of its research findings in the 'Technocrat' magazine to complement efforts to lead Ghana to attain middle income status.

Touching on some of the recent research projects by KNUST, Professor Adarkwa announced that the University had come out with special hybrids of cassava and sweet potato popularly known as 'tech bankye' and 'tech santom' respectively.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor gave an elaborate account of recent developments on KNUST campus and announced that a Human Resource Department and a quality assurance unit had been introduced to help improve service delivery of the University staff.

While in the UK, the Vice-Chancellor and his entourage also paid a working visit to the Ghana High Commission, London and the Cambridge University.

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