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23.01.2016 Opinion

Welcome To The Only University That Develops Ghana

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“We're a Light, And a Pride, And a Beacon of Development; Our Knowledge is For Service; Herein Lay The Cradle of Academic Excellence; Practicalising Education For Life; Uniting The People in Development; Inspiring Every Mind, Every Heart And Every Hand; Providing The Best of Our Higher Education; Praise Be to God For The Blessing Over Us”. Don't be perplexed, these are words from the anthem of UDS.

Hold on, I forgot to introduce myself but it's better late than never. I am Noble Kwabena Domfeh Emmanuel, a proud product of the university that prides itself with development and I am going to be your host for today. You are warmly welcome to UDS.

If one needs to be told about UDS, then his/her nationality or intergrity as a Ghanaian should as well be in question. However, as much as I would like to think every Ghanaian should already know about UDS, you will be surprised that during my tour around sister schools for the “Image of UDS Outside” segment of my morning show on the campus radio, I came across some students who didn't even know the full meaning of UDS (University for Development Studies), the third best university in Ghana according to the 2015 web ranking ( So I will tell you about UDS anyway.

Development must always be seen as a multi dimensional approach which seeks to improve upon the qualitative and quantitative way of life of people. That is the reason you need to enroll in UDS to build a better Ghana tomorrow as youth; for it is the only university that, irrespective of the course one enrolls to read (be it Medicine, Accounting, agriculture, Statistics, Applied science, land management or Education program), would eventually come out with an added advantage as a researcher and a developer at the end of their four or five-year study.

Undoubtedly, UDS is a university with matchless qualities. Presently (probably forever), UDS is the only university in Ghana that runs trimester programmes. Anyway, Bieber says “never say never” so who knows, maybe we might get some universities to copy our trimester system. We have seen some private universities now offering our enviable programs such as Integrated Business Studies, Integrated Development Studies, Accounting and Finance among others.

I can see the confused look on your face by now with my mention of the trimester system. Unlike the usual two semester system other universities have in an academic year, UDS has three. During the third one, students in first and second year go to live in deprived communities within the UDS catchment areas, conduct research on various developmental challenges affecting those communities and make the outcomes of their researches available to university authorities for policy formulation in future. And this is what we call the THIRD TRIMESTER FIELD PRACTICAL PROGRAM (TTFPP).

A colleague at the planning department, level 300, Daniel Bioh said “Yes, we know that we go through a lot to complete one trimester in a community; we know students from other universities look down upon us; and we know we lack facilities. But despite all the numerous down sides of schooling here, one thing we can all be proud of is the TTFPP. It made some of us better thinkers, objective analysts, altruistic intellectuals, and above all, it exposed us to the vagaries of rural life.”

Some of us had the opportunity to know exactly how it feels to live in a community without electricity, without any motorable roads, no telecom network coverage, no grocery stores etc

. It is a great experience. As we struggled to find safe drinking water, amidst our endless boxing bouts with mosquitoes, one thing that always came to mind was: just a few months here and I'm struggling like this – what about those who have stayed here all their life ? Going through the hardships serves as a courtesy call on our societal and civic obligations which we will be exercising in the near future.

If not for anything, somewhere, sometime, someday, we can say that, we started helping mother Ghana even as Students. We shared ideas to help a community. As workers, We will do more.

Third year students, for TTFPP, go for industrial attachment while final years go back to campus for their project work as their third trimester program.

I'm sure students from other universities are wondering what makes them unique, and their contributions toward the development of Ghana.

If you are thinking it's just the students of UDS who partake in development driven programs, wait till you hear what I'm about to say next.

The Harmattan School which was instituted in 2007 by the University for Development Studies, provides a platform for civil society organisations, development practitioners, policy makers and researchers, on an annual basis, to meet and discuss pertinent development issues that affect northern Ghana in particular, and Ghana as a whole. It comes on usually in February (the Harmattan month). Our lecturers' and administrators' contribution to the development of Ghana is the harmattan school.

Now tell me… How unique is your university? Don't you think we are among the best if not the best?

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