The government yesterday pledged a donation of ¢1 billion to the Valley View University (VVU) to support the development of its infrastructure and academic programmes.
The VVU also received a charter to make it the first private tertiary institution to become a fully-fledged and autonomous university in the country.
President J.A. Kufuor, who announced the donation at Oyibi, near Accra, presented the charter to the authorities of the VVU at the 12th graduation ceremony of the VVU.
In all, 154 graduands were awarded degrees in Religious Studies, Theological Studies, Computer Science and Business Administration (Accounting option).
The charter confers sovereignty on the VVU and gives it certain rights and privileges as prescribed under the relevant legislative instrument.
So far, there are 35 accredited private universities, tutorial colleges, seminaries and other types of tertiary institutions in the country, with more than 10,000 students on enrolment.
The VVU, set up by the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church, began 27 years ago as the Adventist Missionary College at Bekwai in the Ashanti Region and then became the Valley View College at Adenta, near Madina, before becoming a university at its present location at Oyibi.
It was the first private tertiary institution to be given accreditation by the National Accreditation Board in 1997 to run academic programmes.
Addressing the presentation and graduation ceremony, President Kufuor said the government was convinced that private tertiary institutions deserved the support of the state and it was for that reason that it recently donated buses to eight out of the 12 accredited private universities.
He said government would continue to offer support and encourage private sector participation in higher education.
The President said in addition to being gratified by the efforts of the university to start degree programmes in nursing and bio-medical equipment technology, he was also impressed by the infrastructural development and the beautiful landscape of the university.
He said the introduction of the nursing and bio-medical programmes was a welcome departure from the traditional programmes being offered by majority of the private universities in Ghana.
He commended the university for being responsive to the manpower needs of the country by providing training in areas such as Computer Science, Business Administration, Education, Development Studies, Religious Education and Theology.
President Kufuor announced that the Trinity Theological Seminary and the Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Centre for Mission Research and Applied Theology at Akropong-Akwapim were also being granted their charters.
The Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, commended the VVU for its contribution to human resource development and urged all private tertiary institutions to strive to achieve excellence in the generation of knowledge through research, which was the core mandate of a university.
The President of the Ghana Union Coference of the SDA Church and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of VVU, Pastor Samuel Adam Larmie, said the church currently owned and ran 726 educational institutions in the country.
The President of the VVU, Dr Seth Laryea, said under the university's development programme, it intended to re-organise its departments into schools and colleges.