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National Ranking System for tertiary institutions in the offing

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Prof. Mohammed Salifu Director-General of the GTEC addressing journalists
Prof. Mohammed Salifu Director-General of the GTEC addressing journalists

The Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) has started the process to institute a National Ranking System for tertiary educational institutions.

The ranking system, which is to serve as a tool for driving excellence, is expected to be operational by next year, after a stakeholder engagement and buy-in.

The Director-General of the GTEC, Prof. Mohammed Salifu, who announced this at a media sensitisation on the new Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020 (Act 1023) in Accra, explained that “the law provides for us to develop a bespoke low-cost ranking framework that will rank our institutions based on the prerequisites of performance that we give them”.

The programme sought to court a partnership with the media to enable the GTEC to articulate and educate the public on the role, responsibility and mandate of the commission in the new act.

Prof. Salifu explained that the ranking framework would, in total, capture the expectations from tertiary educational institutions “in terms of research, teaching employability and the impact they make on society globally”.

“Then, after you have done that, you can look at specialised areas. For instance, there may be one university that is more research-driven than another; so you rank them on their research outputs. You can also rank them on the quality of teaching,” he explained.

He was hopeful that when the ranking was done, “and we say this one is number one, on the broad framework, it means that we have looked at a range of deliverables, a range of performance areas and we have aggregated that and said ‘this is the number one’”.

“We can also look at the sub-categories, so that the ranking scheme will look at the global ranking and also look at specialised areas in terms of the different disciplines,” Prof Salifu explained, giving an assurance that “this is not something we will sit in-house here to do”.

Collaboration

He said the framework would be done in close collaboration with the institutions and expressed the hope that within a year or so, the framework would have been developed, adding: “Once we finalise that, we will outdoor the ranking system.”

Prof. Salifu noted that in recent times there had been many global ranking mechanisms and tools and various universities had claimed to have been ranked number one.

“Then another university comes, based on a different ranking, to say it has also been ranked number one, and so on and so forth. That is because of the multiplicity of ranking schemes and ranking criteria,” he explained.

He was hopeful that establishing the national ranking system would streamline the ranking systems and educate the public on what were taken into consideration in ranking institutions.

Prof. Salifu explained that for now, many people were confused as to which university was the best in terms of the ranking and was hopeful that “when our ranking mechanism comes in, we'll be able to explain to people and they will be more in touch with it”.

Number one

He said even though he was not worried about the different types of rankings, it would be useful if the institutions ranking the universities could be specific on what the institutions were ranked on.

“There has to be only one number one, and it comes with understanding exactly what the ranking criteria are. I think if we develop our own, it will bring a lot more understanding and clarity to that, so that there will be clarity in what the ranking means,” he added.

In a welcome remark, the Council Chairman of the GTEC, Prof. Kwame Boafo-Arthur, underscored the important role of the media in the successful execution of the mandate of the GTEC.

He said the seminar was to court a partnership with the media to help the GTEC to articulate effectively its mandate and role in the new Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020 (Act 1023).