A total of 3,514 students, at the weekend, graduated from the University of Ghana (UG), after completing various postgraduate and undergraduate programmes.
Two graduation ceremonies each were held on Friday and Saturday for the graduates with another set of ceremonies to be held in November for the second batch of students, who will be graduating under the 2014/2015 academic year.
The graduating students received various certifications conferred on them by Mr. Kofi Annan, the Chancellor of the University Council and former United Nations Secretary General.
Speaking at the ceremony last Friday in Accra, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said the university was the highest ranked university in West Africa considering latest rankings by four international organisations which recognise the hard work and growth of UG.
He said a university ranking by Thomson Reuters placed UG in 10th position among universities in Africa, which was the best position attained by UG while The Times Higher Education list of the top 15 universities in Africa places UG at number 12.
In the Webometrics rankings for Africa, he said the UG moved from number 52 in 2009 to 19 at the beginning of 2015 while in QS ranking, UG remained one of only four universities from Sub-Saharan Africa listed for the first time ever in 2015.
According to him, rankings were very important as they help influence, among others, the choice of students to attend particular institutions, secure funding from donor agencies and research affiliations while granting institutions the chance to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and put in place remedial measures.
“I therefore applaud all colleagues, students and stakeholders of the university who have enabled us to attain this feat. We will definitely not rest on our laurels, but will work even harder to ensure that our rankings go higher both on the continent and internationally.
Prof Aryeetey said UG has seen massive improvement since the inauguration of the Collegiate System (CS) for the 2014/2015 academic year.
He explained that the introduction of the CS was meant to decentralise decision-making and thereby reducing bureaucracy and lessening the task on officers, particularly the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Administrative Director in administrative duties while creating more room for innovation at the school and college levels.
He said the colleges have become semi-autonomous since the inception of the CS and therefore as part of the process, the university’s statutes have been amended to allow for the establishment of new colleges as well as the amendment of the structure of the College of Health Science.
“This has enabled most colleges to do well in the area of research productivity and visibility, and therefore they are taking advantage of new opportunities and funding available, to carry out ground-breaking research with collaboration from local and international partners,” he said.
On issues regarding health, Prof. Aryeetey said the construction of a 617-bed teaching hospital for UG at a total cost of 217 million dollars was on course.
He was optimistic that after the completion of the project the University of Ghana Medical Centre will help place UG as one of the most advanced medical training institutions in West Africa.
Prof. Aryeetey urged the graduates to go all out and make a difference in the development of the nation with the skills acquired during their stay in the university.
By Charles Amankwa