Accra, Oct 1, GNA- Dr. Ishmael Yamson, Chairman of Council of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon on Saturday cautioned staff and students that the Council would not tolerate any acts of indiscipline calculated to tarnish the image of the University.
Dr. Yamson picked on examination malpractices that rocked the University last year and said appropriate sanctions would be applied, with a consequent miserable life for offenders.
Dr. Yamson gave the caution at the matriculation ceremony of fresh students admitted for various undergraduate and graduate programmes for the 2005/2006 academic year.
As at now, 14 students are being investigated for examination offences committed during the 2004/2005 academic year.
Dr. Yamson reminded the freshmen that the students' misbehaviour in examinations had earned a bad name for themselves, their families and the University, and asked the matriculants to be guided by the motto of the University, "integri procedamus" (progress with integrity), familiarise themselves with regulations governing the conduct of examinations and abide by them.
Intake reduced this year from last year's of 11,057 to 8,166. While 8,044 students registered last year on the Main Campus of Legon, 5,195 registered this year.
This reduction, which was to reduce pressure on staff and facilities and to ensure improvement in good quality education, is said to be significant since over the past 15 years the University had been increasing intake.
At the Accra City Campus of the University, 1, 562 students were admitted this year. Female admission went up by one percent from 40 per cent of last year.
Admission for graduate programmes also rose from 625 in 2004 to 840 in 2005. The University also admitted 372 as compared to 354 foreign students from the West Africa sub-region, Europe and North America, and 289 students from less endowed schools in Ghana.
This year's matriculation, unlike the former ones where fresh men signed in a fat notebook, would be done on a computer generated broadsheet which would be sent round the Halls of Residence. Dr. Yamson therefore, urged the matriculating students to make sure they signed their names on the broadsheet, saying that would be their proof that in future they were one of the students in the University. The Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Prof Clifford Tagoe said unlike previous years, the University tried to simplify the registration process by eliminating Departmental registration in order to enable the students to go through the registration process smoothly. He announced that steps were being taken to ensure that in future payment of Association or Club fees would be voluntary. Prof. Tagoe said the University had reactivated its Scholarship Scheme in addition to other existing ones to encourage local graduate work. Under this scheme, the University would spend 24 million cedis on a Master of Philosophy student per annum for four semesters and 40 million on a Doctor of Philosophy student.
Applications had been received for the scholarships and interviews would soon be conducted.
Prof. Tagoe said three of the four floors of the Information Communication Technology Centre had been fully equipped and were in use, with the fourth floor being furnished and networked. He said 150 computers would be installed there and facilities were also being networked for the installation of computers, and urged the students to take advantage of the facilities.
He urged the students to read notices since that was the way important information would be passed on to them.
The Acting Vice Chancellor appealed to the Education and Sports Ministry to expedite action on the promise to provide shuttle buses of off-campus students.
Mr Mohammed Alhassan, a Level 100 student offering BSc Administration, on behalf of the students praised the founding fathers of the University, past and present administrations, and all who in diverse ways had contributed to the growth of the University.
He however, complained about the late arrival of admission letters, lack of guaranteed residential accommodation, the illegal practice of senior students immersing fresh students in water to welcome them into the university, popularly called "ponding."
He said the students were undaunted, and reiterated earlier admonition to observe rules and regulations of the University. Mr Ted Konu, Registrar of the University administered the Matriculation Oath, in which the students pledged to obey the Vice Chancellor and the authorities of the University. 01 Sept. 05