Professor Gabriel A Teye, Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), has stated that the creation of autonomous universities out of the UDS would result in the collapse the university.
For some time now traditional rulers in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions (three northern regions) as well as other stakeholders in education have been calling for the conversion of the UDS campuses in Nyankpala, Navrongo and Wa campuses into separate universities.
However, Prof. Teye sharing his opinion on the issues, said what was important for the people in the three regions of the North, was to advocate the establishment of new universities in addition to the UDS and not to create autonomous universities out of UDS campuses.
Addressing the third UDS Alumni Association National Delegates Congress in Wa, the Vice Chancellor said the UDS was surviving on the numerical strength of its students since government’s subvention was no more forthcoming.
He said the module, which the UDS had used to create campuses in the regions was now being duplicated nationally and internationally by other universities worldwide and that should serve as “food for thought” for stakeholders in education in the regions.
“The three regions of the North need new universities and not a piece of UDS. Having new universities will be more helpful than advocating the autonomy of the various campuses of the university”, Prof. Teye suggested.
However, Prof. Daniel A Bagah, also of the UDS, who gave documentary evidence leading to the conversion of campuses into autonomous universities, said: “as an insider making the campuses fully-fledged universities is a done deal”.
He described the debate about the creating or not creating universities out of the campuses as “academic rationality as against political convenience”.
According to Prof. Bagah, any contrary opinion would be subjected to political brushes, saying: “Political convenience is dominant”.
He said the UDS would not collapse, but would continue to exist if its campuses were converted into separate universities.
“Reflecting on UDS issues seriously, the autonomy of the UDS campuses as universities is a done deal”, Prof. Bagah said.
Dr. Felix K. Abagale, UDS Alumni President, said the association has assisted UDS in various forms, including the extension of electricity to campuses, providing support for the establishment of clinics and contributing to the UDS policies to improve the image of the University.
He appealed to members of the association not to be bystanders, but be serious alumni, helping to build the image of the university, to provide quality academic performance and contributing its quota to national development.
“Let us be part of the University and participate actively on issues of the University to make it one of the best in Ghana and the world”, Dr. Abagale advised.
He urged authorities of the UDS to improve lecture halls, accommodation facilities, sanitation, general security and Information Communication and Technology, among others, at the university.