Leverage technology to go global - Prof. Aryeetey charges UHAS graduates
Graduates from tertiary institutions in Ghana have been encouraged to think globally and take advantage of current opportunities in the world of work.
The Secretary-General of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, indicated that the ongoing technological evolution had created an environment awash with opportunities on a global scale, from which several individuals were benefiting remotely.
Prof. Aryeetey made the recommendation to 829 graduating students at the 7th congregation of the University of Health and Allied Sciences at Sokode-Etoe in the Volta Region last Saturday.
Speaking as a guest speaker at the congregation, Prof. Aryeetey said even though technology had positively impacted faculty-student interaction in developed countries much more than in Ghana, the quality of training had remained at par and produced graduates still fit for purpose.
"The curricula that we use for most of our programmes are not too different from what you find in the global world. The difference may be in the level of engagement between faculty and student and that has been made possible with the use of new technology, which is slowly moving here," he said.
Use new technologies
He, therefore, advised graduates to equally adapt to changing trends of employment by reinventing themselves into marketable candidates for the global job market.
He said though the country needed more health professionals, current government structures had not evolved enough to provide opportunities for graduates.
"But the structures are government’s arrangements which have not made it possible to accommodate you; which means that most of you have to find different ways of earning income or a livelihood," he charged the graduates.
"Today, it is possible to be a Ghanaian and live in Ghana and influence your profession outside of Ghana through technology," he stated.
The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) since its establishment in 2011 has racked up several achievements in health sciences and is also home to the best-ranked scientists in Ghana, including its founding Vice Chancellor, Prof. Fred Newton Binka.
The university's students in 2022, grabbed gold medals in the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition and the International Directed Evolution Competition.
The university was also awarded the Best Tertiary Education in Health and Sciences Award by 28 Credentials of Entrepreneur, in Accra.
Students also picked two Nursing and Midwifery Council awards in 2023 while another picked the award for the overall best candidate in the 2022 Ghana Pharmacy Qualifying Examination.
The university faculty has also received awards, recognition and appointments from various organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the University Council, His Lordship Victor Jones Mawulorm Dotse, expressed concern about the limited infrastructure at the university, which could affect the intake of the growing numbers of graduates from the country's second-cycle institutions seeking admission at UHAS.
UHAS in the 2021/22 academic year enrolled 7,903 students.
He appealed to contractors working on various projects at the school, including the completion of the central laboratory complex, the Fred Newton Binka School of Public Health Administration at Hohoe and the China Phase II project, among others, to expedite their work.
"It is also noteworthy that the China Phase II project is progressing at an appreciable pace and it is our hope that it will be completed by March 2024 to be inaugurated," he said.
He commended the government for the counterpart funding and facilitation and the Chinese government for the grant for the massive investment.
"It will definitely be a major aid in filling the infrastructural gap of this university," he added.
Presenting the Vice Chancellor's report, Prof. Lydia Aziato also stressed the need for the completion of all stalled infrastructure development.
"Work on the UHAS Main Bypass Road (including 5.3 km of internal roads) from Mirage to Sokode-Etoe has slowed down. The contractor, Messrs. First Sky Ltd., is currently working on the construction of the remaining drains. Management of the university is making efforts to lobby the government to include critical internal roads for execution. Officials of the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) have prepared the necessary documents awaiting approval for the award of the project," she stated.
She, however, said despite the challenges, the school management, faculty and students were poised to work diligently to move the university forward.
Prof. Aziato urged alumni, stakeholders and partners to support the university in its journey of growth and development.
She urged graduates to endeavour to advance themselves in their desired areas, having been well-equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the future due to their holistic training.
She also urged them to be good ambassadors of UHAS.
"As you go out to work, we urge you to continue to raise the flag of UHAS high. Be guided by our ethos and values of excellence, integrity, innovation and service and care wherever you find yourselves. Humble yourselves and learn from all the people you meet in your practice. As you are aware, the provision of health care requires teamwork so be an empathetic team player," she advised.
In all, 829 graduates made up of 809 sandwich students, 14 regular and six postgraduate students from the Fred N. Binka School of Public Health, School of Basic and Biomedical Sciences, Medicine and Nursing and Midwifery were conferred with various degrees and awards.
The ceremony also saw Regina Amanor emerging as the valedictorian with two academic awards.
An honorary doctorate was also conferred on Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, in recognition of his sterling contribution to tertiary education in the country and Africa at large.