Govt halts UDS autonomous campuses

Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh

Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh

The decision of the previous government to convert the three campuses of the University for Development Studies (UDS) into autonomous campuses has been put on ice.


In a bid to ensure each of the ten regions of the country had a public university the outgone government constituted a committee, chaired by retired educationist, Dr Christine Amoako-Nuamah, to make recommendations to the proposal to split the three campuses of the UDS into autonomous ones.


The committee in its report supported the proposal and recommended that the three campuses of the UDS in Nyankpala, Navrongo and Wa in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions respectively were given autonomy.


The committee’s report was subsequently endorsed by the government and approved by cabinet waiting for the bill to be brought to Parliament for approval until it lost the 2016 general elections.


But the Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, answering questions in relation to the previous government’s decision on the floor of Parliament, in Accra, yesterday said that decision has been put on hold.


He said fresh proposals would be tabled before Cabinet for a decision to be taken on the three campuses of the UDS.


“Following the change in administration (government) and in line with enactment process, fresh policy approval will be submitted to Cabinet for consideration and onward submission of the Bills to Parliament through the Attorney General Department,” Dr Opoku-Prempeh told the House.


In his view, the Dr Amoako-Nuamah Committee, which was approved by Cabinet on January 4, 2017, three days before the previous government exited, was done with ill faith.


Dr Opoku-Prempeh said government remains committed to bringing university education closer to the citizenry and would work on the UDS and all other similar bills before it.


Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, meanwhile, said pre-construction activities were being carried out at the Somanya campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development with the view of moving to site “once the condition precedent to both the financing and commercial agreements between (the contractor) and Government are fully met.”


He said contracts for the road works and the buildings, to be funded by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) have been awarded “but the contractors are yet to move to site.”


Dr Opoku-Prempeh, Manhyia North MP, estimated that main works at the site should start by the end of December this year and would be completed within 24 months.


Parliament passed the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Bill 2014 to create the legal basis for the establishment of the university, the first public one in the Eastern Region.


The university is to provide higher education, disseminate knowledge related to development in environment and agro-business, and create the needed environment that would foster exchange of knowledge.


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