The President of the Wisconsin International University College, Ghana, Professor Obeng Mireku, has appealed to the government to intervene in what he described as “exorbitant” affiliation fees charged by public universities that private university colleges are affiliated to.
He said under the current arrangement, private universities are required to pay an annual service fee of GH¢135 per student admitted to the affiliated public university per semester, a fee he described as “heavy”.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic at the university’s 18th Matriculation ceremony at its Accra campus last Saturday, Prof. Mireku said the situation largely accounted for the high tuition fees charged by private universities.
“Almost all private universities are crying that their affiliation fees are too exorbitant. Every private university has to pay an annual service fee of GH¢135 cedis per student that is admitted per semester. That is very heavy.
“We are inclined to pass it on to the students though we know it overburdens them. If all these things are to be scrapped, it will make the tuition fees lighter and make private universities capable of admitting more students,” Prof. Mireku added.
Prof. Mireku said a number of private universities were struggling as a result of the impact of the pandemic on their finances and would require the support of the government to sustain their operations.
He appealed to the government to come to the aid of the private universities by granting them additional tax reliefs, among other support systems, to enable them to continue to render quality education to the citizenry.
“There is a litany of challenges affecting private universities and that would require the support of the government.
Government must assist the private universities to continue to provide quality education because the state alone has proven to be incapable of offering tertiary education in a developing country such as Ghana,” he said.
The matriculation oath was administered to 2,719 students who have been admitted to pursue various courses.
They comprised 2,033 females, representing 74.8 per cent and 686 males, representing 25.2 per cent.
Addressing the ceremony, Prof. Mireku urged the students to work hard, exercise integrity and seize all opportunities available for their personal and collective development.
“I wish to remind you that at Wisconsin, class attendance is non-negotiable. As captured in your students’ handbook, if you are absent from class over a period aggregating three working weeks, you would be made to withdraw from the university or be made to repeat the course,” he told the matriculants.