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Government urged to reduce taxes on private universities

BY: graphic.com.gh
Professor Felix Nikoi Hammond
Professor Felix Nikoi Hammond

The Chairman for the Governing Council of the Dominion University College, Professor Felix Nikoi Hammond has called on the government to reduce taxes imposed on private universities in the country.

According to him, private universities are currently required to pay many taxes which prevents innovation and development of the schools.

He made the call at the 4th Graduation and 5th Matriculation ceremony of the University in Accra on Saturday.

He explained that private universities pay fees to the National Accreditation Board (NBA) on the courses they run, and have to renew same with a cost in addition to be honoured to affiliated public institutions.

‘Over charging of fees from private institutions which are also contributing their quota to education and to build the workforce is not sustainable, as it serves as an impediment to their growth and progress as stakeholders in development,’ he said.

He also urged the government to set aside a special fund to subsidise the fees at tertiary education level to encourage more enrollment.

Skills Development Centre

Underscoring the importance of skills development, Prof Hammond  who is also the interim President of the university said the Dominion University under its newly created Skills Development Centre would in 2019 run a mandatory certificate courses in personal development and work-related skills for Dominion students.

The course, according to him would help to enhance the employability, competitiveness, critical thinking, public speaking, corporate communication, and leadership skills in the 21st century, he said.

He further stated that the university would establish a School of Education to train teachers for early childhood, basic and secondary education in the next academic year.

He said the university would also established the Dominion School of Graduate Studies to offer innovative and demand driven but underserved postgraduate and PhD programmes, adding that a number of international universities have indicated their interest in partnering with the university to offer postgraduate and PhD programmes.

he also disclosed that the University is collaborating with Prof Richard Fry, an IT Professor from Weber State University, USA to set up an Applied Technology Innovation Centre on the campus.

Under the collaboration, Weber State University students would join their counterparts at Dominion University to work on innovative ICT solutions that would have immediate community impacts.

Prof Hammond said in line with the collaboration, Professor Fry in collaboration with the American Applied Technology Institute donated 12 thin client computers to Dominion University to start the setting up of the Innovation Centre.

Prof Hammond said more computers would be shipped in the first quarter of 2019, adding that the Centre will hold its first training in computer programming in February 2019.

Speaking at the function, Prof Fry pledged to collaborate with Dominion University to build community projects to enhance job opportunities for graduate students in the country.

Producing 21st Century work ready graduate

The theme for this year’s graduation and matriculation ceremony was “Producing 21st Century work ready graduates.”

In all, 173 students graduated, comprising of 112 degree students and 61 Higher National Degree after studying programmes in Business Studies, Theological Studies, and School of Science and Technology.

Mr Samuel George Quaye won the best graduating student of School of Science and Technology while Mr Joseph Asante won the best graduating student of School of Theological Studies.

Ms Belinda Abena Aboagye emerged the best graduating student of Higher National Diploma and Mr Eric Dziedzom Akukumah, School of Business students won the Arch Bishop Duncan Williams award for overall best student.