President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has approved a decision by the governing council of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) to rename the university after its founder, Nana Opoku Ampomah.
According to the President when the due parliamentary processes were completed, the UPSA would be renamed the Opoku Ampomah University of Professional Studies (NAUPS).
The President made the announcement at the fourth special congregation of the UPSA held to confer honourary doctorate degrees on Nana Opoku Ampomah and the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr Ahmad Ahmad on Wednesday.
The President, in making the pronouncement said “As a sequel to the conferment of honourary doctorate degree on the founder, I am happy to announce also that the council of the UPSA, in accordance with the statutes of the university, has taken the decision to rename the university after Nana Opoku Ampomah.”
He described it as “a most excellent decision which has received the approval of the President of the Republic. So that when the parliamentary process are completed, this university would be called the Opoku Ampomah University of Professional Studies.”
Funding tertiary education
Commenting on challenges facing tertiary education in the country, the President observed that the adequate funding of tertiary education had been one of the challenges of successive governments.
At the graduate level, the President said, that situation, particularly, had become a topical issue in recent times.
“As part of efforts to deal with the problem of funding tertiary education, government had committed itself to the establishment of a research fund for the sole purpose of funding relevant and certain specific research works in the country’s institutions of higher learning. This would be in addition to the book and research allowance, the President announced.”
The President said his government remained fully committed to ensuring that all the country’s youth, gained access not only to Senior High School education but also to tertiary education.
That, he said, represented the best way of equipping the citizenry with the requisite skills for national development.
Government, the President said, would, therefore, continue to support tertiary institution industry collaborative programmes to increase opportunities practical training and internship.
“We shall promote curricular development to meet the skills and human resource demands of industry, create the opportunities for work and study and make training in entrepreneurship a cardinal component of the school system”.
Establishment of unified commission for tertiary education
He recounted that in 2017, a report was submitted to the Ministry of Education, for the enactment of a law to establish a unified commission for tertiary education to deal with policy formulation, implementation and accreditation.
The Ministry, he said, would shortly begin the implementation of the recommendations that would reform university accreditation in order to introduce equity and fairness in the establishment of public and private universities.
The President commended the leadership of the University for placing emphasis on courses that were relevant to the needs of the economy in areas of management sciences, accountancy, marketing banking and finance, communication information technology and other related social sciences.
President Akufo-Addo also pointed out that the establishment of an endowment fund by the school to help needy but brilliant students was in the direction adding that the government and the Ministry of Education, would continue to support the UPSA as much as the public purse would permit.
“Education remains the key and best route to moving the mass of our people out of poverty. I believe that our country is at the cast of a new and bold beginning which would lead to the foundation of a new Ghanaian civilization where science, technology and knowledge, would unleash the huge potential of the Ghanaian people and create progress, prosperity and dignified standards of living for them”.
The progressive rise of UPSA
The President said from relatively small beginnings in 1967, the UPSA had become one of the progressive public universities in Ghana offering academic tertiary and professional education qualification.
He recounted that following its take-over in 1978 by the then military regime, in 1999 it became a tertiary institution under the Institute of Professional Studies Act 554, the UPSA received a Presidential Charter in September 2008 under former President John Agyekum Kufuor thus conferring on it, the status of a fully-fledged university.
He said, it thus should not be a surprise that after so many years of existence, the UPSA had gained the reputation as the oldest human resource development institution in professional accountancy iand management Ghana with many of its products in leadership positions within and outside the country.
The President said the outstanding work by Nana Opoku Ampomah, who braved all odds courageously, deserved special commendation.
He also commended successive leadership of the school who had helped nurture it to the current level.
The new outlook of the UPSA
The Vice-Chancellor of the UPSA, Professor Abednego O.F. Amartey said the university, with the unique mandate to provide academic and professional education was now poised towards attaining scholarship, professionalism and entrepreneuship offering professional, postgraduate, bachelors and diploma programmes.
“The combination of scholarship and professionalism is the foundation of UPSA’s unique profile. UPSA seeks to provide and facilitate the development of self-sustaining academic and professional business management education in the disciplines of accountancy, marketing, administration and law,” he added.