The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has inaugurated the Governing Council of the University of Ghana, with a charge on members to look at the global competitiveness, globalisation and its impact on the university.
He urged the council to beware of the global competitiveness and not be content that the university was the premier university in the country.
“The walls of higher education are now open to the entire globe. Students can decide to go to Legon or go to Dubai, UK or Brunei and now that we have institutions that are literally looking at how to make their education free, your competition is not a competition with universities in Ghana, it is with the rest of the world,” Dr Adutwum said.
“How you become competitive in that arena should be of interest to us and so, as a council, begin to look at your competitiveness and look at globalising your institution,” the minister told the council members.
The council is chaired by a former Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. Boafoa Akuffo, with Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor, Mr Amos Oppong Amankwah, Ms Justice Barbara Ackah-Yensu, Nana Wereko Ampim-Opoku and Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah as government nominees.
Others are a representative of the alumni, Mr Richard Obeng Okrah, representatives of Convocation (teaching and non-teaching) Associate Professor Nana Akua Anyidoho, and Mr Micheal Owusu Ansah respectively; a representative of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Professor Mohammed Salifu, and the Vice-Chancellor of an African University, Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza.
The members also include the representatives from the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), the Students Representative Council (SRC) and the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), Dr Samuel N. Nkumban, Mr Kwame Amo Ntow Fianko and Mrs Anastasia Thomford Okyere, respectively.
The rest are the Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG) representative, Mr Adofo Yaw Kwakye, and the representative of the Teacher Education Workers Union (TEWU), Mr Kenneth Botchway. Four other council member appointees are pending.
Dr Adutwum reminded the management of the university that it was important they regularly briefed the council on what was going on in the area of teaching and learning, “because we have concerns from the industry that at times some of the students that come to them cannot write and I think it is something that should be of concern to you.”
On the curriculum for senior high schools, the minister gave the assurance that the universities would be fully involved in the development of the curriculum.
“You have to tell us the kind of skills you want to see in the students and we then develop the curriculum to respond to that and I can assure you that, that information will be communicated to you and we will work with your management staff,” he told the council.
Dr Adutwum also stressed the need for the university to produce students with critical thinking who would walk into the industry with the requisite skills.
On corporate social responsibility, the minister urged the university to intervene in the teaching of SHS students within the traditional area where the university was located.
He said that was critical because even if it was scholarships the university had for children within the catchment area, it was possible that the traditional leader would get the scholarship but would not get qualified students to benefit from it.
For her part, Justice Akuffo thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through the minister, and said the members had taken note of the general overview the minister had given.
The chairperson added that although the invitation was at a short notice, the council would perform its mandate as spelt out.
She expressed gratitude for the trust reposed in them and gave an assurance that by the time the council’s tenure was over, there would be significant progress.