From scholars to political pundits

The phenomenon of some university professors prioritising political pursuits over academic rigour and social impact is a troubling trend.

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 Instead of leveraging their expertise to address pressing societal issues, they choose to engage in political forecasting and partisan politics. That not only undermines the integrity of academia but also deprives students of valuable guidance and mentorship.

Meanwhile, graduate students' project work and theses continue to offer innovative solutions to real-world problems, often without recognition or implementation. This waste of intellectual capital is staggering, as practical solutions to issues like unemployment, flooding and addiction to gambling go unexplored.

The consequences of this trend are far-reaching. Young graduates, inspired by their professors' political ambitions, may prioritise personal gain over social impact. The next generation of leaders and change-makers may be conditioned to value political expediency over evidence-based problem-solving.

Moreover, the academy's failure to address societal challenges erodes public trust in institutions of higher learning. As professors prioritise political punditry over scholarship, the value of academic research and expertise is diminished. The very purpose of universities to advance knowledge and improve society is undermined.

To reverse this trend, universities must recommit to their core mission. Incentives should encourage these professors to engage in research and mentorship that drives social impact.

Graduate students' work should be showcased and supported, rather than gathering dust on shelves. By revitalising the academy's focus on practical problem-solving, we can empower the next generation to address the complex challenges facing our world.

By promoting a culture of innovation, collaboration and social responsibility, universities can reclaim their role as drivers of progress.

Let us harness the potential of academic research and talent to build a brighter future, rather than perpetuating the status quo of political posturing and intellectual complacency.

Moses Sackie Agbemava,
Presbyterian Church of Ghana,
Trinity Congregation, Accra.

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