President Akufo-Addo has firmly defended his government’s intent to introduce a bill into Parliament to harmonise the administration of public universities.

He said contrary to critics of the bill, the Public Universities Bill is for the good of the institutions.

Addressing the 11th Congregation of the University of Professionals Studies, Nana Akufo-Addo disputed arguments that the bill, when passed into law, would take away academic freedom from the universities.

Read: Education Ministry, law professor in fresh tango over draft universities bill

He noted that such arguments are “flimsy” and born out of “mischief-making and are disingenuous.”

According to him, the bill states the cardinal importance of academic freedom.

The President said consultations on the bill have been completed and it will be submitted to the House in 2019.

What are the main highlights of the bill?

– The Bill seeks to harmonise the administrative structure of all public universities

– The Bill gives government appointees majority on the Governing Council of the universities

– The Bill reduces the membership of pressure groups like University Teachers Association, Ghana (UTAG), Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU)  and others to a single representative on a rotational basis.

– The Bill also seeks to harmonise admission to all public universities

What have been the reactions?

 Some lecturers have raised serious concerns about the provisions of the Bill.

Read: Academic freedom under threat: Prof Gyampo condemns ‘bogus’ draft Public Universities Bill

Head of European Studies at the University of Ghana, Prof. Ransford Gyampo described the proposed changes as bogus.

“…we would resist the attempt to touch our academic freedom with our blood,” Prof. Gyampo wrote on Facebook in April.