The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) has initiated a programme under which it would retain in the university young and brilliant students to commence a three-year PhD programme as a means of stemming the brain drain. After the award of the doctorate degree, the students would be required to serve the university for two years.
The programme has started with 60 students who would be robed at the 41st congregation of the university in 2007.
Inaugurating the programme, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Kwesi Andam, noted that for the duration of the programme, the students would register for MPhil and transfer after one year to the PhD programme.
He said unlike the previous years, when the KNUST was robing one or two PhD graduates yearly, three years from now 60 PhD students would be robed every year.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, the programme, which was being supported by the GETFund, would provide practically oriented training to meet the industrial capacity requirement for a sound economic growth. Professor Andam said all the necessary measures, which would facilitate and enhance the excellent pursuit of the programme, had been instituted.
This, according to him, included an enabling environment coupled with good leadership, suite of basic equipment and brilliant young graduates.The Vice-Chancellor said the university, at present, depended on retired lecturers to keep the faculties running.The innovative scheme, he noted, would simultaneously arrest the brain drain and provide capacity for the university's programmes.
Professor Andam noted that PhD programmes at the university had been designed to tackle problems and to improve the living standards of Ghanaians and therefore increasing the PhD output would result in poverty alleviation and the discovery of new methods of improving industrial products.The Administrator of the GETFund, Mr Fosuaba Mensah Banahene, noted that with the programme, KNUST had indicated to all that it had moved from humdrum, unimpressive and monotonous achievement of one PhD graduate per year.
He said the university had developed a formidable academic muscle and had reached the heights comparable to any other university in the world.According to Mr. Banahene, as the highest level of regular academic engagement, PhD studies provided hopes for a nation's vision for national reconstruction and was expected to stimulate nationalistic tendencies and provide the intellectual and practical tools for national development.
He noted that the government and parents provided with money to educate the youth because of the hope that their education would bring dividends to the students, the parents and the nation as a whole and therefore urged students who would benefit from the programme not to do anything that would betray that hope.
He gave the assurance that the GETFund would seriously support the programme and said as a proof of that commitment, the fund had already allocated ¢2.5 billion.