The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof. Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, is advocating the review of the retiring age of university lecturers.
He argued that for critical staff such as lecturers, it was at age 60 that they reached the apex of their career but were compelled to retire.
“The practice, therefore, over the years is that the universities are forced to hire the services of the retired lecturers on contract basis. This alternative, however, has been questioned in recent times,” Prof. Amartey said at the matriculation ceremony of the university in Accra yesterday.
Prof. Amartey, therefore, appealed to the government to “save the public universities from losing very experienced lecturers by either revising the retirement age of the critical staff of the public universities or allow the universities to continue to give contract appointments to lecturers.”
A total of 4,407 fresh students, made up of 1,039 diploma students, 2,739 undergraduate students and 629 postgraduate students took the Matriculation Oath to begin their tertiary education in the school.
The 1,039 diploma students are made of 536 males and 503 females. For the 2,739 undergraduate registered students, 1,505 are males and 1,234 are females, while the 629 postgraduate registered fresh students comprise 376 males and 253 females.
Prof. Amartey said the matriculation ceremony conferred on fresh students full membership of the university upon the fulfilment of all the necessary admission requirements.
“Every student who enrols in the University of Professional Studies for the first time must go through the rites of Matriculation and sign the Matriculation Oath, which mark your formal admission to UPSA,” he explained to the students.
Reviving abandoned GETFund projects
“My second appeal to the government is to help revive all abandoned GETFund projects of the university by injecting the necessary funding into such projects.
“I say so because the first batch of the Free SHS graduates will be due for admission to the various tertiary institutions in the 2019/2020 academic year,” Prof. Amartey appealed.
He said the large number of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) applicants from the Free SHS policy that would be seeking admission to the tertiary institutions “undoubtedly require an aggressive expansion in the teaching and learning facilities of the tertiary institutions in readiness to absorb them.
“That being the situation, it is appropriate that the abandoned GETFund projects are completed to augment the facilities of the tertiary institutions like ours,” Prof. Amartey stated.
Rights and responsibilities
Prof. Amartey said every matriculant was entitled to all rights and privileges recognised by the university, explaining that the matriculation oath would also enjoin them to be of good behaviour and obedient to the vice-chancellor, as well as other officers of the university, “while you remain junior members of this noble institution.”
“As fresh students, in your pledge to be of good behaviour, you are committing yourselves to be disciplined and good ambassadors of the university. It is, therefore, a very important undertaking in the life of every university student,” Prof. Amartey said, and congratulated them on a successful admission to the UPSA.
He said the university maintained and would continue to maintain a zero tolerance for all anti-social behaviours such as occultism, examination malpractices, hooliganism and other deviant behaviours.
Prof. Amartey said the UPSA had enjoyed relative peace over the years and advised the freshers to stay away from any activities that would constitute a threat to the peace of the university.
Advice to students
The Chairman of the Council of the university, Dr Kofi Ohene-Konadu, who welcomed the fresh students, advised them to strike a balance between their academic work and social life.
He further advised them not to lose sight of the purpose for which they had come to the university, urging them to pursue excellence in academic work.
The Registrar, Dr Seidu Mohammed Mustapha, who administered the matriculation oath, also advised the students to make their academic work their priority.