The Principal of the University for Development Studies (UDS) in charge of the Navrongo Campus, Professor Bishop Albert Luguterah, has appealed to the government to as a matter of urgency fast-track the conversion of the campus to an autonomous university.
The Principal made the call when the Upper East Regional Minister, Ms Paulina Patience Abayage, paid a working visit to the school on Thursday as part of her familiarisation tour of tertiary institutions in the region.
It would be recalled that last year, President Akufo-Addo declared that cabinet had given approval for the conversion of the UDS Wa and Navrongo campuses into status of autonomous universities.
The Principal said the conversion of the campus would not only help create more opportunities for stronger partnerships with other universities and organisations, but would also help ensure the growth of the university, the communities, the region and the country as a whole.
“The science based UDS Navrongo Campus is proposed to be known as the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS),” he indicated.
Professor Luguterah added that when the campus is converted into a fully-fledged university and equipped with the necessary human and capital infrastructure, it would grow to become self-sufficient and help turn the fortunes of the country for sustainable development and help achieve the government’s vision of Ghana beyond aid.
He mentioned that in spite of the inadequate education infrastructure, facilities, equipment and laboratories, staffing and vehicles, among other challenges confronting the campus, the campus remained the ‘ground breaking’ for researches and had produced graduates who were contributing to nation building.
“It is true that much stakeholder consultations may not have been done, especially with us on the ground, but all is not lost as government still has the opportunity to engage us to ensure smooth take-off of the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS). Indeed we are seeking such engagements and hope and trust that government will do so,” the Principal added.
In response, the regional minister, gave the assurance that government was committed to ensuring that the campus was converted into an autonomous university to help produce students who would contribute positively to national development.
She stated that as part of the government’s efforts to help redeem its promise, the internal roads of the campus including that of the Saint John Bosco’s College of Education have been awarded to a contractor who would commence work soon.
The regional minister however told the management of the Navrongo Campus that government alone could not do it all and impressed upon the authorities of the school to collaborate with other development partners especially those interested in science and technology to complement government’s efforts towards supporting the campus.
Ms Abayage, further urged the management of the university to involve traditional and religious leaders in running the affairs of the institution and stressed that when the residents had the sense of ownership of the institution they would contribute in diverse ways to help develop the campus.
The regional minister as part of the working tour also visited the St. John Bocsco’s College of Education, the Midwifery and Nursing Training Colleges all in Navrongo and interacted with the staff and students of the institutions and encouraged them to work hard.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, NAVRONGO