The Chancellor of the Regent University College of Science and Technology has called for practical efforts from government to create an enabling environment for private universities to thrive.
Rev. Prof. Emmanuel K. Larbi said government’s efforts to create enabling environment must go beyond theories, to implementing a direct state policy to prevent state institutions from engaging in practices and activities that undermined the efforts of the private universities.
He made the appeal at the 13th Graduation ceremony held by Regent University College of Science and Technology to confer Degrees on 234 students.
“For the private Universities, creating an enabling environment means off-shore institutions or foreigners who want to establish universities or campuses of foreign Universities in Ghana can only do so, by collaborating with existing institutions or agencies in the country, as others do”.
“It also means that under no circumstances should foreign institutions or foreign nationals be allowed to establish universities to offer programmes in subject areas that are already being offered by the existing institutions,” he said.
Prof. Larbi called on government to abolish some charges demanded by the National Accreditation Board, which he deemed unnecessary.
“For instance, when an institution has paid for the assessment of a particular programme, and the programme is assessed, it does not have to pay another money to collect a certificate to indicate that a particular programme has been assessed.”
The Chancellor believed that it was necessary to streamline the salaries of highly qualified faculty members in the public and private universities, so that qualified academic staff, would not be attracted to move from the private Universities to the state-funded institutions.
He said the single spine and market premium arrangements for public sector workers had made it difficult for the private universities to compete with public ones in terms of salary.
He, therefore, appealed to government to collaborate with the relevant agencies, to provide low interest and non-recourse loans to private universities for their capital expenditure, especially infrastructural development, and investment in high-end laboratory equipment to enhance teaching, learning and research.
Prof. Larbi said Regent had introduced new programmes such as the innovative “Regent Law with Management honours programme”.
The programme is specially tailored for those who wished to pursue a career in the legal profession as Barristers and Solicitors; and those who wanted to function effectively as Executive Secretaries and Administrators in the corporate world.
The Chancellor urged the graduates to be crusaders against societal problems like disease, poverty, ignorance and illiteracy, filth and environmental degradation.
“As a graduate of Regent, we don’t expect you to finish your training here, and go back and behave like any other Ghanaian or any other African. We expect you to be different and be a person of vision and passion,” he advised.
Reverend Dr. Samuel Ayete-Nyampong, the Outgoing Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church, addressing attendees as the Guest of Honour, bemoaned the current situation where public universities admit huge numbers at the expense of private universities amidst limited infrastructure and faculty.
He said it was a great setback to private universities who constantly struggled to admit even 500 students in any given Academic Year.
“The desire by Public Universities to admit more fee-paying students than before, offer distance education, operate satellite campuses, run evening, weekend and sandwich programs, should be seen as an undesirable appetite by the state-owned universities, which will ultimately cripple the private universities,” he said.
He, therefore, called on government to assess and address these issues to enhance quality assurance and progress in the private tertiary educational sector.
Out of the 234 graduates, who offered Bachelor of Science Programmes in Banking and Finance, Management with Computing, Accounting and Information Systems, eCommerce, and Telecommunications Engineering, 43 had First Class honours, 129, Second Class Upper, 55, Second Class Lower, while seven had Third Class honours.