By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, March 11, GNA - Private universities have appealed to the Government for a downward review of statutory charges like the accreditation and annual affiliation fees to enable them to stay in business to support the training of the country’s middle-man power needs.
Professor Komla A. Dzisi, the Rector of the University College of Management Studies (UCMS), made the appeal in an interview with the media at the Seventh Congregation of the University in Accra, on Saturday.
He said scrapping of those statutory payments and tax exemptions would keep them in business because those charges were eating into their coffers.
Prof. Dzisi said private tertiary educational institutions had suffered dwindling enrolment in recent times due to the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities that were offering degree programmes,
“We use to get a lot of students from the polytechnics that came here for top-ups, but now those institutions are technical universities and offering first degrees.
“Formerly polytechnics were restricted to High National Diploma (HND) and so after their programmes, they could come to institutions like ours for their first degrees, but now they’re admitting those students, and directly taking SHS graduates to pursue degrees, which have affected our admission figures,” he said.
He, however, debunked the argument that high admission fees by the private universities was the reason for the reduction in enrolment figures, saying private universities have flexible payment plans for students, coupled with conducive facilities for workers to further their education.
Prof. Dzisi said the UCMS would continue to collaborate with its mentor institutions, including the University College of Education, Winneba and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology to enable prospective students, who could not secure admissions into those institutions, to enrol there.
“For instance, the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) is our mentor institution, so instead of the UEW turning away students that applied for admission, there should be an arrangement for those students to come here,” he suggested.
Prof. Ruby Hanson, the Dean of Science Education at the UEW, who represented the Vice Chancellor, admonished the graduating students to shun the “get-rich-quick” mentality after securing employment, which led some employees to engage in nefarious activities at the detriment of the nation.
She said the UEW would continue to mentor and collaborate with the UCMS to develop future leaders to accelerate national development.
Dr Sazra Opata, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, UCMS, said the University was in the process of securing accreditation for the faculties of Governance, Health Services, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences.
He expressed optimism that those programmes would commence in the next academic year in September this year.
Dr Opata urged the graduands to be innovative and establish their own businesses instead of looking up to the Government for jobs.
The University has chalked 44 years since its inception in 1974, and surmounted many challenges.
Currently it has students across Africa including Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, Mauritania, La Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo.
It offers programmes such as Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Banking and Finance, Human Resource Management and Marketing as well as Procurement and Supply Chain Management.
In all 420 students graduated, with Mr Bashiru Karim being adjudged the Overall Best Student.