Exclude students, labour reps from varsities governing council-Prof Adei

The Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Professor Stephen Adei, is advocating a change in the composition of governing councils of public universities to exclude representatives of labour and students unions.

According to him, it was inappropriate for students and trade unions to be part of decision making in the award of degrees to students by the universities.

Speaking in Accra on Saturday at the graduation ceremony of Nobel International Business School (NIBS) Prof Adei cited the Teacher and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) as one of the labour groups which should not have a representative on the councils, explaining that academic decisions should be the sole preserve of a university’s administration body.

“I think that the so-called revolutionary policy of putting TEWU and students on the Council must stop. I do not see why a University administration in an awards of degrees should have students and labour being part of that decision. We did that in the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) law while I was there,” he stated.

He expressed the hope that the new Public Universities Bill, which seeks to consolidate all existing laws of public universities and was ready to be laid in Parliament for consideration, would contain such needed changes.

The event, which saw 18 students awarded Executive Masters in Business Administration and 13 others in Doctors in Business Administration (DBA), was on the theme “Transforming Africa through Higher Education.”

Among the many changes expected in the Bill, he said, the government should not increase the number of its appointees on the Council or shorten the tenure of Councils saying that “such a move would be negative for universities with bad administration.”

He further recommended an extension of the term of Vice Chancellors and review of the power of the governing councils to include the power to dismiss non-performing Vice Chancellors to ensure that university heads were innovative and entrepreneurial to advance the course of the institution.

In addition to the Bill, Prof Adei asked the government to also focus on the quality of graduates being produced, process of accreditation with inherent abuses, who qualifies to teach in a university and the relative roles of the private and public universities as part of reforms to tertiary education in the country.

He urged the graduands to lead the transformation of the continent through ethical, innovative and entrepreneurial leadership adding that their character, competence and protecting the environment were key in achieving the desires outcome in their endeavours.

Founder and President of NIBS, Professor Atuahene-Gima, said the current mode of tertiary education in the country was archaic and limit the innovative capabilities of Ghanaian students.

He said it was time the model was reviewed in line with current progressive teaching and learning methods to make graduands problem solvers and entrepreneurial.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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