Thirty-one brilliant and needy students of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) were on Wednesday presented with scholarships from the Vice-Chancellors (VC) Endowment Fund (VCEF).
The beneficiaries include 20 first-year students and 11 continuing students.
Each package valued at GH¢4,500 is renewable every year depending on the academic performance of the beneficiary.
The fund was established by the VC of UPSA Professor Abednego Amartey, three years ago, to identify and support bright and financially challenged Ghanaians to pursue tertiary education at the school.
It is also targeted at brilliant and financially challenged continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students, including the marginalised and the disadvantaged, and also aimed at promoting the education of co-curricular and talented students who are financially disadvantaged.
According to the board member of the fund, Prof Nana Owusu-Frimpong, about 1,350 students who qualified to enter the university were unable to do so due to financial challenges while over 300 deferred their studies with a significance number dropping as a result of financial constraints.
He said the VC in his wisdom decided to establish the fund to improve access to university education in Ghana by enabling bright and needy students to receive free undergraduate education at UPSA.
Prof Owusu-Frimpong appealed to all well-meaning Ghanaians, corporate Ghana, philanthropists to donate generously to the fund to enable the school to reach out to more disadvantaged in society.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor of UPSA, Prof Charles Barnor, who presented the packages, said the 20 beneficiaries were thoroughly screened and interviewed out of over 150 applicants.
“You now have the opportunity, what is left is to help yourselves by doing everything possible to justify the investment made in you because it takes resources to train one to become independent,” he added.
He indicated that, it was someone’s vision that they were benefitting from, and advised them to endeavour to reciprocate that gesture by adopting measures to also change the lives of others, adding that “When government gives to you, you must also give back to government, that was why I am urging you to identify a situation or a project and contribute meaningfully to the development of UPSA,” he added.
Prof Barnor charged the beneficiaries to live moderate lifestyles and to concentrate on their studies to become successful.
A beneficiary who is now in his third year, Inusah Ali, urged his colleagues, especially the first years to work very hard to justify the investment in them.
“There is vast difference between tertiary and secondary education, you need to balance your time between leisure and academic work,” he added.
BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU