Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, June 9, GNA - Seven tertiary institutions have signed an articulation agreement with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), United States, to activate a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties.
The tertiary institutions are Ho Technical University, Kumasi Technical University, Takoradi Technical University, Koforidua Technical University, Tamale Technical University, Cape Coast Technical University and Bolgatanga Polytechnic.
It would be recalled that in September 2017, all the 10 technical universities and polytechnics formed a consortium and signed an MoU with UMES to set the general framework for specific activities between UMES and each Technical University.
The partnership programme aims to address the shortage of human capital and management capacity in the hospitality and tourism industry by strengthening Ghanaian hospitality and tourism vocational and management training.
The project would also provide Ghanaian Technical Universities’ faculty members with international exposure and certification, provide leadership and guidance and to promote the exchange of students faculty and staff between their universities and UMES on research and training.
Professor Emmanuel Sakyi, Chairman of Vice Chancellors (VC) and Rectors of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Ghana, and the VC of Ho Technical University, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the signing of the MoU would ensure that each individual institution was committed to its implementation.
He said the goal of the project was to increase the capacity of Ghanaian training institutions to create sustainable quality hospitality and tourism management programmes that offered internationally and locally-relevant courses.
Prof Sakyi, who said that Accra Technical University and Sunyani Technical University had already signed the articulation agreement, also noted the signing of the agreement involves the institution’s commitment to ensure that specific activities outlined in the MoU were operationalised.
Prof Emmanuel Acquah, Director of International programmes at UMES, said the major objective of the programme was to find the gateway or a systematic approach to address the human capital constraints in the hospitality and tourism sector in Ghana.
He said UMES further signed a general agreement to explore collaborative research, training and outreach opportunities among the Ghanaian institutions.
Prof Acquah said the articulation agreement focused very heavily on faculty professional development, staff professional development and student exchanges, and this would provide the opportunity to have the curriculum that the technical universities and polytechnics would have.
“When their students graduate, in addition to the regular university’s certificate that they will get, they would receive some professional certification from the American Hotel and Lodging Education Unit, which is a renowned international organisation," he added.
Dr Kwame Boakye, Council Chairman for the Sunyani Technical University, said despite the challenges within the hospitality and tourism sector, Ghana would move beyond the rhetoric and show results ".
Dr Boakye, who chaired the occasion, tasked the technical universities and polytechnics to be focused on getting results and as well build confidence to extend that success in different areas.
He also appealed to UMES to consider the engineering field for further collaboration; as engineering plays a vital role in a nation's socioeconomic development.