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17.06.2005 General News

Private universities to benefit from state funding

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Accra, June 17 GNA - Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Thursday said the Ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports, was evolving policies to adequately assist the funding of private tertiary institutions in the country. He said the Ministry was also exploring the possibility of setting up a private bank to finance education in all its dimensions.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said this in a speech read on his behalf by Nana Juaben-Boaten Siriboe, Advisor and Coordinator of the National Economic Dialogue Secretariat, at the inauguration of the Regent University College of Science and Technology in Accra. The University, which is the first private science and technology tertiary institution in the country, has state of the art equipment to provide students with a thorough grounding in the knowledge and skills of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

The Minister said plans were far advanced to establish a national ICT development fund to provide venture capital to start ICT related small and medium enterprises including educational institutions. He said the Government would pay more attention to private institutions, which focused on science and ICT by assisting them with the necessary support in order to expand the skills and capacity of the nation's human resource.

Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, whose address was read by Mr Paul Effah of the National Council of Tertiary Education, urged educational institutions to adopt new digital methods because their traditional ways of doing things could not effectively meet the demands of today's world. He said Ghana's vision of a new society should be a vibrant community with lively communication of information and exchange of ideas and not just on education in the areas of the humanities and arts but also on science and technology.

The Minister commended the University's decision to set up a Campus Wide Web (CWW) to promote effective communication network among its members to provide a source for both information and communication within a networked campus environment. The Reverend Professor Kingsley Larbi, President and CEO of the University, appealed to the Government to accelerate the speed of the application process for duty and VAT exemptions since private universities spent huge sums of money from their limited resources on taxes and duties on educational inputs. He called for the amendment to the Act establishing the GETfund in order for private universities to have more benefit from it than they now did.

The University is affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi and is in co-operation with the University of Applied Sciences, Deggendorf, Germany. It runs courses in Computer Science, Accounting with Information Systems; Banking and Finance with French; Computing with Education; Economics with Computing and Management with Computing.

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