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General News Sun, 28 Sep 2008

Enrolment in public universities hits 117%

Enrolment in the country's public universities has been increasing yearly, since 2002 and 2003 academic year, representing an increase of 117 per cent. Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who disclosed this at the University of Cape Coast, during the weekend, said admissions for 2000/2001 were 40,673 while 2006/2007 rose to 88,445.


Over the same period, enrolment in the polytechnics rose from 18, 459 to 28,695, representing an increase of 55 per cent. Alhaji Mahama, who was speaking at the 39th Congregation of the university, said government's policy of encouraging private sector participation in the provision of tertiary education had also yielded very good results.


He said since 2001 to 2007, enrolment had increased from 1,667 to 18,278 constituting an increase of 96 per cent. Alhaji Mahama said the National Accreditation Board has given accreditation to about 25 private institutions to run tertiary programmes, explaining that government is however keen to ensure quality education.


He told the 7,299 graduates to put the knowledge they had acquired to productive and creative use, stressing: "The nation has invested so much in you, and I urge you to go into the world and make a difference." "Some of you may be tempted to look outside beyond the shores of the country for greener pastures. My advice to you is to resist the temptation and rather place the knowledge and skills you have acquired at the service of your country."


Alhaji Mahama asked them to be agents of change and serve as role models for the younger generation.

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Commenting on the violence that had characterised this year's General Election, in parts of the country, he said there was the need for stakeholders to educate the public to know that elections need not be bloody.


He noted that elections are a peaceful process of choosing leaders for democratic governance. Alhaji Mahama called on the graduates to educate people to appreciate that being political rivals does not, in any way make them enemies.


"We all desire peace in order to have our present and long-term dreams come true."


The out-going Vice Chancellor, the Reverend Professor Emmanuel Obeng said the university was currently the only academic facility in Africa to be offering African studies as an under-graduate course. He said the university was collaborating with other universities worldwide in key areas of faculty, student and staff exchange for research and professional dialogue. Rev. Prof. Obeng said the UCC had signed a memorandum of understanding with Xiangtan University, for the provision of Confucius Institute for the study of Chinese language and culture on the Cape Coast campus. He said the university had introduced a gender policy to deal with sexual harassment of students on campus. Dr. Sir Sam Jonah, Chancellor of the University said lack of capital flow was stalling the expansion of facilities on campus. Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang takes over as the first female Vice-Chancellor of the university in Ghana. 28 Sept. 08

Source: GNA
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