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Accra to host private universities dialogue

BY: Faith Ayorkor Mensah
Professor Jerry Samuel Yaw Kuma — To chair the dialogue
Professor Jerry Samuel Yaw Kuma — To chair the dialogue

A regional conference on the survival of private university education will be held in Accra next week.

The conference, being organised by the West Africa International (WAI) Press Limited, will discuss the serious threats of extinction and other challenges the private universities face in spite of the phenomenal growth in their numbers.

In Ghana, there are 73 private universities as against 19 public universities as of 2019.

However, due to government policy and competition from public universities, the private universities face threat of extinction.

Event

In a statement, the WAI Press indicated that the international conference would attract important dignitaries and stakeholders in West Africa to deliberate on the theme: "Is the survival of private university education in West Africa under threat? Ghana as a case study" also to proffer solutions to the challenge.

It will be chaired by a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology (UMAT), Professor Jerry Samuel Yaw Kuma.
Speakers at the conference will include the Director-General, Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, Prof. Mohammed Salifu; the Founder and Chancellor, Wisconsin International University College, Ghana, Dr Paul Kofi Fynn; the President of All Nations University College, Koforidua, Dr Samuel Donkor; the Vice Chancellor of the Pentecost University, Accra, Rev. Prof. Kwabena Agyapong-Kodua, and the Vice Chancellor of Bowen University in Iwo Osun State, Nigeria, Prof. Joshua Olalekan Ogunwole.

Also expected at the event are the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, and the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E, Palmer.

The event will also see some deserving Africans in academia and other disciplines being honoured with the prestigious Africa International Award of Merit 2022 (AFIAM 2022).

Background

Private entrepreneurs began providing university education in 1987 when the country instituted its education liberalisation policy.

The government at the time realised that it could not adequately cater for the demands of university education and, therefore, permitted private universities to operate.

"The policy was aimed at increasing access to university education by fulfilling the growing demand for degrees among the youth and to involve entrepreneurs in providing education and infrastructure development," the statement said.