Research Fund Bill before Parliament

A new tertiary education research fund bill to support research in public universities has been approved by cabinet and is to be laid in parliament for consideration.

The object of the bill is to establish a fund from which lecturers and researchers could access financial support to undertake research in various areas of academia.

When passed into law, it would facilitate the creation of the fund to replace the books and research allowance for lecturers.

The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, who disclosed this in Accra yesterday at a national summit on tertiary education, said lecturers were expected to access funds financial support from the fund for their research work.

Held on the theme, “crafting a national vision and plan for the 21st Century”, the three-day event brought together educationists and stakeholders to draft a national plan for tertiary education.

It was organised by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Trust Africa of Senegal.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said the fund was necessary considering the huge amount government spent on books and research allowances.

She said, for instance, government spent about 11 million dollars on research last year, stressing the need to monitor the use of such resource.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang again noted that government was considering proposals for the review of legislations establishing the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and National Accreditation Board.

She noted that the review would enhance the efficiency of both institutions and provide them the opportunity to respond speedily to emerging issues.

A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, urged tertiary institutions to diversify their sources of funding to enable them to mobilise more financial resources to support academic and research work.

He said the institutions needed to establish funds by which they could mobilise resources to enhance the development of their institutions.

According to him, as government increases expenditure on tertiary education, the institutions should also devise strategies to generate revenue to support their programmes and objectives.

Prof. Anamuah-Mensah further noted that it was time for the country to formulate a strong national vision and plan to position tertiary education at a pedestal that would enable it contribute significantly to national development.

He said though the education system of the country was considered one of best in the world with its university ranked high, the system has not provided much solution to the problems faced by society.

“In view of the current state of the tertiary education system, which does not provide opportunity for developing entrepreneurial and innovative skills, the system will require revolutionary transformation and investment to kick-start this change,” he said.

 

By Charles Amankwa

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