PREPARATORY work for the establishment of the first public university in the Eastern Region- the University for Sustainable Environmental Studies and Applied Research-has been completed, according to the planning committee set up to oversee its establishment.
What is now required is for Parliament to pass the appropriate legislative instruments to pave the way for the setting up of the physical infrastructure including the faculties for the university.
When established, the university will be the third public tertiary institution to be built in recent times after the University of Health and Allied Sciences at Ho in the Volta Region and the University of Energy and Natural Resources at Sunyani in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
These came to light yesterday when the 12-member Christine Amoako-Nuama planning committee presented its Report to President John Mahama at the Flagstaff House.
The report is in two parts, the first is an executive summary and recommendations while the second part dwells on academic programmes, legal and issues of governance.
In April 2013, President Mahama inaugurated the planning committee to oversee the establishment of a public university in the Eastern Region, with Somanya as the main campus and Donkorkrom as a satellite campus.
Its terms of reference included identifying appropriate departments and faculties, instituting curricula and pedagogy relevant to national needs on environmental science, and sourcing the involvement of the private sector in the development of infrastructure and their operation.
Receiving the report, President Mahama gave the assurance that government would raise the necessary funding critical to the establishment of the infrastructure of the university.
He noted that the university would produce the kind of specialists the country requires in the area of environment and sustainable development.
He said due to the challenges of climate change, Ghana needed a university that would help it to research and find solutions to the challenges posed by the environment.
President Mahama commended the committee for doing a diligent work and pledged that government would critically study the recommendations of the report with a view to implementing it.
Dr. Amoako-Nuama said the committee took cognizance of the issue of food security, climate change and its impact on the environment.
For a start, she said the proposed university would have four under-graduate schools each with several departments, one graduate school and three centres of excellence in the area of sustainable development, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and the built environment.
On land issues, she indicated that the committee had identified land and was in the process of acquiring the land through Executive Instruments.
By Samuel Nuamah