UG, KNUST run unapproved courses - Authorities move to rectify anomaly
The 2021 Auditor General's Report has revealed that the University of Ghana, Legon, is running 371 unaccredited programmes, including 80 undergraduate courses.
The unaccredited programmes also include 213 postgraduate and 67 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) courses.
Similarly, officials of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) also appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and admitted that KNUST was running a number of unaccredited programmes.
But the Registrar of the University of Ghana, Mrs Emelia Agyei-Mensah, told the committee in Accra yesterday that 60 of the undergraduate programmes of the institution had been fully accredited, while the university had put in place systems to ensure that all outstanding unaccredited courses went through the accreditation process successfully.
In an answer to a question as to whether students were examined and issued with certificates on such unaccredited programmes, she said: "Once the programmes are rolled out, certificates are issued".
She, however, stressed that measures had been adopted to ensure that all unaccredited programmes went through the accreditation process successfully.
When the KNUST took its turn, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, said: “A lot of effort has gone into accreditation.
Ghana Tertiary Education Commission is working closely with us, and almost on a weekly basis we are exchanging data. We have moved on”. “The challenge is not as it used to be in 2018 and 2019. I am sorry, but my assurance is that we are doing everything we can, and we are using technology to solve the problem. We want to make sure that technology is working for us,” she said.
“The regulator is also working on an electronic app to stop this manual way of doing things,” she added.
The 2021 Auditor General’s Report also identified that more than GH¢1.23 million of the University of Ghana's Research and Development Fund had been locked up in a private investment firm, among other infractions.
Contrary to a circular issued by the Vice-Chancellor that such investments should only be done at a commercial bank with a certain threshold, the Director of Finance at the time is said to have gone contrary to the directive and invested the money with NDK Financial Services.
Currently, only GH¢100,000 has been redeemed.
Explaining the situation to the committee, the current Director of Finance, Bernice B. Agudu, said the investment was done in 2017 when she was not in office, and that the VC's directive came four years later.
She said NDK Financial Services had liquidity challenges, and that the university’s lawyers were working to retrieve the amount still in arrears.
Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, Vice-Chancellor, KNUST, answering questions at the Public Accounts Committee sitting in Accra. With her are Andrews Kwasi Boateng (left), Registrar, KNUST, and Gifty Twum Ampofo (right), a Deputy Minister of Education
The report also identified challenges at the university's learning centres across the country.
The Registrar of the university, however, said all the learning centres apart from Wa, which was about 50 per cent complete, and the Bolgatanga centre, all the others were functioning properly.
The Bolgatanga centre has been awarded to a contractor to come to speed with the rest, she said.
The report also said a private developer had taken over parts of the university land in the Volta Region.
However, the Director of Finance said the private developer had been evicted and all the proper documentation on all the university’s lands across the country had been done and secured.
Ms Agudu announced that the University of Ghana, through its internally generated funds, was building a 1,000-bed hostel facility to accommodate more students.
Asked whether the university had a hand in fixing accommodation prices for facilities built by private companies, the Vice-Chancellor said “no”.
A member of the committee and Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South, Clement Apaak, said the prices of hostel facilities were skyrocketing, with some charging as high as GH¢24,000 per year. He said the situation called for a national dialogue to address it.
Another member of the committee and MP for South Dayi, Rockson- Nelson Dafeamekpor, advocated the prosecution of leaders of public institutions, especially universities, for financial infractions.