President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the government has committed itself to establish a research fund for the sole purpose of funding relevant and certain specific research works in tertiary institutions.
The fund, he said, which would be in addition to the book and research allowance, was part of the efforts by the government to deal with the problem of funding tertiary education.
Commenting on the challenges facing tertiary education in the country, the President observed that the inadequate funding of tertiary education had been one of the challenges of successive governments.
Speaking at the fourth Special Congregation of the UPSA to confer honorary doctorate degrees on Nana Opoku Ampomah and the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr Ahmad Ahmad, in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said at the graduate level, inadequate funding of tertiary education, particularly, had become a topical issue in recent times.
The UPSA (originally the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS)) was founded by Nana Ampomah in 1967 but it was taken over by the military government in 1978.
In 1999, it became a tertiary institution under the Institute of Professional Studies Act 554 and it received a Presidential Charter in September 2008 under former President John Agyekum Kufuor, which confered on it the status of a fully fledged university.
President Akufo-Addo said the government remained fully committed to ensuring that all the country’s youth gained access not only to senior high school education but also tertiary education.
That, he said, represented the best way of equipping the citizenry with the requisite skills for national development.
The government, he said, would, therefore, continue to support tertiary institutions and industry collaborative programmes to increase opportunities for practical training and internship.
“We shall promote curricular development to meet the skills and human resource demands of industry, create opportunities for work and study and make training in entrepreneurship a cardinal component of the school system,” he said.
In 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo said, 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.
President Akufo-Addo said he had approved a decision by the Governing Council of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) to rename the school after its founder, Nana Opoku Ampomah.
He said when the due parliamentary processes were completed, the UPSA would be renamed the Opoku Ampomah University of Professional Studies (OAUPS).
“As a sequel to the conferment of an honorary 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 said.
President Akufo-Addo described the renaming as “a most excellent decision which has received the approval of the President of the Republic. So that when the parliamentary processes are completed, this university will be called the Nana Ampomah University of Professional Studies”.
He commended the leadership of the UPSA for placing emphasis on courses in Management Sciences, Accountancy, Marketing, Banking and Finance, Information and Communications Technology and other related social sciences relevant to the needs of the economy.
The establishment of an endowment fund by the school to help needy, brilliant students, the President said, was in the right 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 cusp of a new and bold beginning which will lead to the foundation of a new Ghanaian civilisation where Science, technology and knowledge will unleash the huge potential of the Ghanaian people and create progress, prosperity and dignified standards of living for them,” he said.
Recounting the evolution of the university, he said it 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 and management in Ghana, with many of its products in leadership positions within and outside the country.
The President said the outstanding work by Nana Ampomah, who braved all odds courageously, deserved special commendation.
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 entrepreneurship, offering professional, postgraduate, bachelors and diploma programmes.
“The combination of scholarship and professionalism is the foundation of the UPSA’s unique profile. The university 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.