The Ministry of Education has asked tertiary institutions to stop exploiting the desperation of students by selling far more admission forms than the number they can admit.
It said it was an unacceptable practice where for instance, a university knew it could admit only 2,000 students at a time but sold over 10,000 admission forms because students were desperate to secure admission.
In an interview in Accra, the Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, noted that the sale of admission forms, ordinarily, was supposed to be a token to cover the cost of stationery. He, therefore, proposed that the way out could be that the cost of admission forms would be levied on only students who finally got admitted.
Prof. Yankah also expressed concern that apart from selling more admission forms than the number of students the universities could admit, they also resorted to annual increases in the cost of the admission forms.
Cost of admission forms
The public universities have increased the sale of admission forms for undergraduate and diploma courses for the 2018/2019 academic year as prospective applicants struggle to raise funds to pursue tertiary education.
Currently, the University of Ghana’s undergraduate admissions for the 2018/19 academic year online application e-voucher is being sold at GH¢200, also an 18 per cent increase on the previous year’s cost of GH¢180, while the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), which sold its admission form at GH¢170 last year, is selling it at GH¢180 this year.
The University of Cape Coast is, however, selling its scratch card for the 2018/19 admission of applicants into its undergraduate, diploma and certificate programmes at GH¢220 same as was sold in 2017/2018.
Prof. Yankah said the situation was even more serious considering the fact that majority of the prospective candidates bought admission forms of all the public universities in the hope that if they missed out in one university, they could secure admission in the other.
Maintain cost of forms
He has, meanwhile, directed all public universities to revert to the selling price for last academic year’s admission forms pending a meeting to be held between the management of the universities and the ministry.
With respect to the private universities, Prof. Yankah urged the managers to take advantage of the goodwill of the government in the education sector to charge moderate fees.
He asked the private universities to bear in mind that it was for good reason that the government waived the 25 per cent corporate tax slapped on them.
Prof. Yankah explained that the idea was to lessen the burden on the private universities to enable them to exercise moderation in charging fees.
He said the scrapping of the 25 per cent tax was to enable the private universities to use their surpluses to expand their frontiers in the areas of libraries and scholarships.