UG prepares for free SHS batch

The University of Ghana (UG) has started planning to absorb the anticipated surge in prospective students in 2020 when the first beneficiaries of free Senior High School (SHS) programme complete their education.

Currently, it is developing a proposal to introduce additional City Campuses in the regions while it continues sourcing funds to complete ongoing projects on its campuses including lecture halls, residential and office facilities.

At a congregation on Saturday, the Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof Ebenezer Oduro Owusu expressed the hope that the projects when completed would prevent the situation whereby some applicants are denied admission due to lack of space.

“Quality infrastructural facilities are essential, if UG is to have the required capacity to achieve its vision and address the increasing desire for higher education,” he said in a speech read for him by Prof Kwame Offei, a Pro VC.

In the next two years, the demand for tertiary institutions is expected to rise as more than 400,000 free SHS beneficiaries, together with those who completed SHS in previous years, would be competing for admission.

The government has announced that as part of its educational reform initiatives, it would invest in the expansion of tertiary institutions by ensuring that the Ghana Education Trust Fund would be a source of priority projects.

A total of 1,409 students who pursued various programmes at the College of Education through the Distance Education model graduated. They included 208 diploma students, 1,147 undergraduates and 54 graduate students.

Eight per cent of those graduating with diplomas had distinction, while two per cent of undergraduates obtained first class honours, 39 per cent second class upper division, 44 per cent second upper division and 15 per cent third class.

Prof Owusu announced that the university, as part of efforts to reduce its energy bill, was collaborating with the Bui Power Authority to install a 600Kiliwatts Capacity wind turbine on the Legon Campus.

On research, he said the office for Research, Innovation and Development had disbursed 82 conference grants worth $111,142 and eight faculty development grants with a total value of GH₵244, 302.

He said the National Institutes of Health had awarded the university a research grant of $5.5 million for a three-year study on sickle cell disease patients in Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Yolanda Zoleka Cuba, the guest speaker advised the fresh graduates to strive to succeed and aim at becoming extraordinary people in life.

Gideon Awenabisa Atanuriba, a senior staff nurse at Tamale Central Hospital who had a final Grade Point Average of 3.77 in Bachelor of Science in Nursing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         was adjudged the Best Graduating Distance Education Student.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

 

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