GTUC, Coventry University to expand partnership

BY: Maxwell Adombila Akalaare
Prof. Isaac Blankson, Vice President, GTUC, and Dr David Pilsbury, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Coventry University, at the media interraction in Accra.jpg
Prof. Isaac Blankson, Vice President, GTUC, and Dr David Pilsbury, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Coventry University, at the media interraction in Accra.jpg

The Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) is to expand its partnership with Coventry University (CU) in the United Kingdom (UK) to enable more students in Ghana and the sub-region to obtain international certificates without travelling to the UK.

So far, about 4,000 people have benefited from the programme, which started in 2010 under an arrangement that allows students to school with GTUC but obtain CU degrees.

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Known as the transnational education (TNE), the partnership started with 28 students but has since expanded to benefit more students and programmes.

The Vice President of GTUC, Prof. Isaac Blankson, said at a media interaction in Accra that both universities had agreed to enhance the novel programme to enable more students to benefit.

The briefing, which coincided with the graduation of some students under the TNE, was done by Prof. Blankson and Dr David Pilsbury, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of CU.

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Pride of GTUC

He described the programme as GTUC’s biggest, greatest and most cherished partnership that it would continue to treasure.

Beyond reducing the cost of obtaining a CU degree for beneficiaries, Prof. Blankson said the TNE enhanced the image of GTUC and fited well into the university’s mission of becoming an education hub in the subregion.

As part of plans to expand the programme, he said the two universities had discussed the possibilities of introducing new programmes on cyber security, public health as well as doctor of philosophy (PhD).

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Not money conscious

He explained that the partnership were aimed at helping to develop human resource for pressing national challenges.

As a result, he said the two had agreed not to expand just for expansion sake but to ensure that new programmes that would be introduced are capable of addressing emerging challenges.

A case in point, he said was the discussion of the possibility of adding cyber security to the list of programmes under the partnership.

With cybercrime taking a toll on the economy and the financial sector in particular, Prof. Blankson said educational institutions like GTUC had a duty to help build capacity to defeat the menace hence the plan to add cyber security to the list of programmes under the TNE.

Tanzania example

Explaining further, Dr Pilsbury of CU said both universities were also exploring the possibility of using the partnership to address the growing unemployment in the country and the sub-region at large.

They intend to do this by introducing a programme in entrepreneurship, he said.

He commended GTUC for its commitment to quality education and hard work in ensuring that the programme succeeded.

While describing the partnership as a strong one, Dr Pilsbury said a similar relationship between CU and a university in Tanzania was being closed down.

Although he did not mention why, he said “like marriages, sometimes, you have to divorce and may be remarry.”

He, however, stressed that TNE was not replacing traditional education system but was only augmenting it in a manner that will help expand education in a manner that did not compromise cost.

He said although other universities in the country might be interested in similar partnerships, CU had decided that GTUC would remain the only partner.