KNUST to spend 7 billion on post-graduate students
Accra, June 19, GNA - The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology is to spend a total of seven billion cedis on students pursuing post-graduate studies for the next academic year, Professor Kwesi Andam, Vice-Chancellor, has said.
He said about 200 graduate students would receive 18 million cedis each a year as stipend and bench fees representing one-sixth of the University's allocation from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for the 2006/2007 academic year.
Speaking at the 12th annual Delegates Congress of the Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG) in Accra, Prof Andam said priority had been placed on students pursuing Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) programmes in the allocation.
One hundred delegates are attending the three-day congress, which is under the theme "Linking Graduate Research to Industry and National Development".
He said the amount was being spent by the University to minimize the challenges faced by graduate students in sourcing funds to complete their studies, adding that undergraduates kept the economy of the nation going but graduate students added value to it. Professor Andam said the country needed to address the problems faced by graduate students since they could push the economy to a middle-income level status.
He said it was sad that graduate admissions in the public universities stood as low as 10 per cent of total admissions adding that it was necessary to increase this figure to at least 40 per cent. Prof Andam said it was the responsibility of the major universities to produce graduate students, who would become lecturers for the new generation of universities and the private universities.
He said the country would have enormous benefit from investing into post- graduate studies, adding that proposals had been submitted by Vice-Chancellors of the various public universities to the Ministry of Education and Sports to review funding for post-graduate studies. Professor Clifford Nii Boi Tagoe, Incoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said graduate intake in the public universities was increasing with about 8,000 admitted to pursue various programmes in the 2004/2005 academic year.
Mr Bertrand Russel Quaye, President of GRASAG, noted that it was an indictment on the nation that as a post-graduate students received thesis research grant of between 690,000 cedis and 1.7 million cedis for the number of years he studied. He said in spite of this low figure, there was a threat of withdrawing the grant.
Mr Quaye said GRASAG had established a website to publish the research findings of its members and called for public and private sector support to put the findings into action.