The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana is concerned about the ability of the institution to accommodate the influx of graduates from the Free SHS programme.

Prof Ebenezer Oduro Owusu said due to financial constraints, it is difficult for the university to expand its residential facilities.

Addressing the University of Ghana Maiden Virtual Congregation Ceremony, Prof Owusu said management is considering innovative ways to address the housing deficit on its Legon campus.

“The University for some time now, decoupled admission from accommodation due to financial obligations. This financial obligations and judgement debt, truly have affected our capacity to undertake further investments to augment the housing stock” VC said.

For some years now, fresh students have to fight for the limited space on the main campus with others having to forfeit their admission due to financial challenges in securing a room at a private hostel.

”To address the accommodation challenge which will be posed by the influx of the first cohort of graduates from the Free SHS policy, management is considering various approaches including an off-campus arrangement to identify suitable private residential facilities and recommend same for interested students” Prof Owusu indicated.

A total of 375,737 candidates are currently writing the WASSCE and will be struggling for the limited space in the various public universities in September 2020.

The Chancellor of the University, Mary Chinery-Hesse also said the management is working towards receiving the first of graduates from the Free SHS programme.

She indicated that the institution is improving its infrastructure to offer a multidimensional approach to learning.

”The University is preparing to receive the products of the first batch of the Free SHS Programme. The innovations thrust upon us by COVID-19 have afforded us the opportunity to explore both conventional and non-conventional ways of opening up access to higher education to these prospective students”

Madam Chinery-Hesse also added ”As the university works to complete the physical infrastructure to receive these students; we are also improving our IT infrastructure to strengthen our ability to offer a blended approach to teaching and learning.”

The virtual graduation held on July 30, 2020, saw 133 students having their academic toils crowned.

Eighty-eight of this figure graduated with Bachelor of Law Degrees whiles the remaining 45 passed out with either Bachelor of Medicine or Bachelor of Dentistry Degrees.

In all, the University of Ghana will hold congregation for 14,295 students, comprising 964 students in the non-degree programmes, 8,236 undergraduates, 4,668 postgraduate students and 427 PhD students, with 6,807 being females and 7,488 being males.