The national biennial congress of the Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA) has taken place at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) at Tarkwa in the Western Region on the theme: ‘‘Accessible Quality Tertiary Education for all; a Pre-requisite for National Development.’’
University administrators are officials with the responsibilities of overseeing and co-ordinating learning activities in tertiary institutions.
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They plan and make decisions on course materials, admissions of students, recruitment of staff, training of instructors and the use of communication tools.
Addressing the congress, the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Haruna Yakubu, stressed the need for the private sector to be encouraged to participate in the funding of higher education.
Role of private sector
He said the private sector could do so by providing research grants, awarding scholarships and establishing endowment funds, and indicated that that would be successful if the government showed seriousness and commitment to the system.
He suggested that the government could adopt a policy to make it mandatory for multi-national companies operating in Ghana to set aside a minimum of five per cent of their profits to finance education and allied projects.
Prof. Yakubu recommended that tertiary educational institutions should develop or strengthen admission policies and practices that emphasise the potential of each applicant and address equity of access. He also recommended a reward for quality teaching, curricular innovation and responsiveness.
He said in consultation with all stakeholder groups, the government should articulate an integrated educational, social and economic agenda to promote equitable access, broaden participation and success in higher education.
He pointed out that higher educational institutions could not operate effectively without committed and hard-working administrators who take a broad view of the interests of both the institution and the student. He observed that at all levels, the government had an essential role in promoting access to quality higher education for all members of the society.
Prof. Yakubu noted that Ghana’s higher educational institutions faced challenges in their quest to provide quality education, learning and research, saying, ‘‘this is evidenced as universities operate with overcrowded and deteriorating physical facilities, as well as limited and obsolete library resources.’’
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Professor Jerry S.Y. Kuma, indicated that there was no consensus on what quality should be because quality meant various things to different people in different contexts. He pointed out that across the board “the acceptable definition of quality is the fact that quality is what works for all.”