The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has tasked management of KNUST and government to take urgent steps to provide more residential facilities on campus to accommodate the increasing number of students.
Otumfuo said even though the university’s management has provided additional classroom blocks to enable the institution admit more students, not much has been done in terms of residential facilities.
“There is a looming crisis with respect to accommodation for students. I’m told about 22 private entities have contacted the university for the purpose of constructing students’ accommodation on campus. Unfortunately, not much has been seen in terms of actual construction works, he said.
As stakeholders, he said, there is the urgent need for all, including government to engage in a dispassionate discourse on the best way to provide residential accommodation on campus before the next academic year when the first batch of free SHS students is admitted into the university.
The Asantehene, who also doubles as the Chancellor for KNUST, made the call while addressing a special congregation at the University.
With the increasing number of KNUST students on annual basis, accommodation has become a challenge on campus.
The six traditional halls built to accommodate about 7,500 students are currently occupied by more than triple the original number.
The Asantehene noted that, the committee set-up to investigate a violent demonstration by some students of KNUST last year has submitted its report to him, and that he has accepted it after studying it.
“I have studied and accepted the report from the committee. I will refer the report to Council but before then, I will engage in consultation of the University for the way forward.
“Let me reassure all that the university remains committed to providing a safe and secured academic environment, conducive for undertaking relevant research, quality teaching, entrepreneurship training, and community engagement as required of a first class university”.
Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Professor Kwasi Obiri Danso, assured government that the university will be able to admit more of the free SHS students in 2020.
“Efforts have been initiated to expand infrastructure in the various Colleges of the University to accommodate an additional 23,000 students, as well as laboratories and auditorium facilities to meet the growing demand”.
He disclosed the University has won phase two of the MasterCard Foundation to provide scholarship to over 1,500 students at a cost 51 million cedis.
A total of 3, 442 students made up of 879 undergraduate degrees and 2,563 graduate degrees as well as 52 PhD degrees were awarded.
A professor of African Studies, Malcolm Donald Mcleod was also conferred honorary degree by KNUST for gracing the 11th R.P. Baffuor memorial lectures.