“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” These words of Lao Tzu, a Chinese Philosopher and writer, does not only delineate the leadership skill of Professor Edward Kwame Asante but also his ambitious personality to solicit efforts in attaining a collective goal.

Assuming official duties in August 2018, Professor Edward Kwame Asante became the fourth President of the Garden City University College located at Kenyase in the Ashanti region.

His astute and able leadership facilitated the private university to chalk many tremendous and remarkable strides pushing the institution to become the Private University College of Choice in the country.

Today, Garden City University College is on a firm path to actualizing its set out goals: Academic Excellence, Staff Satisfaction and Excellent Student Experience have been the hallmarks of the University College over the period.

“Enterprise leadership for transformation: redefining possibilities” was his watchword in shaping and changing the status quo of the University.

Over a four-year period since 2018, the University has chalked key achievements including revising its marketing and branding strategies to record the highest students enrolment since establishment in 2001 and other infrastructural advancements.

Branding and Marketing

Under the managerial acumen of Prof. Asante, the school presently has an office for Institutional Advancement with Marketing and Communications, International Programmes, Alumni Relations, and Corporate and Foundations Relations units.

The Marketing and Communications Unit designed effective branding and marketing strategies that gave GCUC a distinctive identity. The strategies were towards increasing institutional visibility and the mediatization of GCUC potential, performance and activities of students, faculty, and staff.

The Unit’s effective branding and marketing strategies, among others, have resulted in increasing the total student population, which was on a downward trend at 1,700.

When he assumed office on 1st August 2018, the school’s lower admission recorded inched up to its current number of 4,446, exceeding the target of 3,400 given him by the University Council. A GCUC Global Alumni has also been inaugurated on 18th December 2021 with the Alumni networks and current students working as GCUC brand ambassadors.

The potential of merchandise in advertising GCUC has been maximized. Currently, GCUC has branded medals for every graduating student and are also given branded, T-shirts, mugs, pens, and umbrellas.

Technology-delivered distance programme

The past two years have prompted all higher education institutions to re-evaluate their conventional ways of teaching and learning. At the inflection moment for the world, the GCUC had to embrace new opportunities to strengthen the relationship between insight, values and focus to advance its fundamental goals.

The University College has in this regard established the Centre for Open, Distance and e-Learning (CODeL) to provide technology-driven programmes. The program employs a blended distance education to increase accessibility by enabling students to access education regardless their geographical location. The platform helps students combine their studies with work, family and social responsibilities.

With financial support from the Founder and Ecobank Gh. Ltd., and technical support from the ICT department, virtual teaching and learning have been adopted for the Top-Up Nursing and Midwifery programmes. Currently, GCUC has Virtual Learning Centers at Kumasi, Wa, Tamale, Takoradi, Koforidua, Oda and Keta. These two technology-driven programmes are largely responsible for the increase in student enrolment

To improve upon the academic, social, and personal experience of the University College community, the following projects were also undertaken:

Provision of facilities at Albert Acquah Hall
The total number of residents has increased from two hundred and seventy-seven (277) when Prof. Asante to four hundred and eighty (480) as a result of some undertaken improvement measures including;

1. An internet system at the hostel that went down has been restored, improved, and extended to all the floors. The non-availability of internet connectivity was a major disincentive that did not make students accept to stay in the Hall.
2. The introduction of the shuttle bus system has attracted more students to accept accommodation in the hostel. The distance of the hostel from the University College preempted students from residing at the facility. Many students prefer the private hostels near the University College to the University’s hostel.

3. The provision of a restaurant and a mini supermarket in the Hall have also made staying in the Hall more comfortable and convenient with more recreational facilities such as volleyball and tennis ball courts provided to boost students’ extra-curricular activities.

4. The sixth floor of the hostel has been completed and furnished with students presently occupying rooms on the floor.

Mini infrastructural, maintenance and repainting works
Over the period the school has also seen some infrastructural renovations and establishments such as the erection of a summer hut for students and lecturers through its internally generated funds. The space built in collaboration with the student representative council provides an avenue for relaxation. Maintenance and repainting works were done with the sixth floor of the university college’s new block also seeing completion.

The Dr. Ben Adu Amankwah block within the precinct of the university college harbours a passenger lift for easy accessibility to the school’s library. Pavements have also been constructed to forestall pothole development on major driveway on the university’s campus.

Two Skills Laboratories for the nursing and midwifery programmes have been re-equipped with modern equipment to enhance practical training of the students.

Prof. Asante has also ensured the university acquired some vehicles including a Toyota hiace and two 66-seater Tata buses for a stress-free transit to and from campus during clinical sessions. The acquisition of the buses has contributed to an increased enrolment in the program.

The USD 150,000 grant
Under his leadership, the University College’s Management applied for a grant from Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) and succeeded in getting 150,000 U.S Dollars, amounting to 1.2 million cedi equivalent. The Management is presently awaiting the disbursement of the funds to complete phases 2 and 3 of the digitalization drive and to procure 1,000 laptops to pilot on students’ access to learning tools.

The fund would also facilitate the retooling of the sick bay and security service, and in establishing a Career Services hub, where students can explore career options that align with their strengths, gain information on employment, options, and find jobs after school.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.