Tertiary education is an inseparable component in the development of every nation state while research activities of universities provide a crucial support for national innovation and the development of new products and services, Prof. Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, former Vice Chancellor, University of Education, Winneba, has stated.
Prof. Anamuah-Mensah, who was delivering the key note address at the opening of the National Summit on Tertiary Education in Accra, last week, indicated that tertiary education was integral to the achievement of the national vision of a just, free and prosperous Ghana that supported economic development, productivity and broad-based social development.
He said the prosperity of Ghana depended on the quality of education of its citizens, particularly the leadership, and that the vision of the nation could only be realized through a world class tertiary education system that was accessible, internationally competitive, efficient, diversified and enabling Ghana to be a productive knowledge-based economy.
However, he said, the current state of Ghana’s tertiary education system did not provide opportunity for developing entrepreneurial and innovative skills and the realization of such a vision.
He, therefore, called for a revolutionary transformation of and investment of resources into, Ghana’s tertiary education system in order to be able to keep abreast of global trends and, possibly, lead.
In an address, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister for Education and Guest of Honour, said government was fully aware of the role of tertiary education in national development.
Government, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said, was, therefore, resolved to ensure quality and promote efficiency in the management of both public and private tertiary institutions by strengthening regulatory oversight through institutional visitation and monitoring, auditing of academic programmes; development and deployment of new Accreditation Management Information Systems (AMIS).
She disclosed that the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Regulatory Bodies— National Council on Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the National Accreditation Board (NAB) — had initiated action that would facilitate effective oversight of tertiary education institutions in the country.
Furthermore, she said, government was also considering proposals for the review of the enabling legislations of NCTE and NAB to position them to respond appropriately to emerging issues in tertiary education in Ghana.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang added that NCTE had presented policy briefs on the sustainable funding of tertiary education while a Tertiary Education Fund was being established to provide a more established funding of research to drive national growth and development.
To that effect, she said, a Bill entitled ‘Tertiary Education Research Fund Bill’ had been prepared for cabinet approval.
In addition, she said, Government was also collaborating with the World Bank through the facilitation of the Association of African Universities to implement a programme known as the African Centres of Excellence project which, she said, sought to promote regional specialization among participating universities to address specific and common regional development challenges in area such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), Health and Agriculture.
In a statement, Dr Omano Edigheji, Consultant/Advisor, Africa’s Higher Education Dialogues, TrustAfrica, Senegal, stressed the need for Africa respond to global changes in the education environment and to make education a stronger vehicle for economic growth.
Welcoming participants to the conference, Prof. C.N.B. Tagoe, Chairman, NCTE, explained that the summit was a response to the call for a national vision and plan for tertiary education that would ensure that the tertiary subsector developed in a more co-ordinated manner, so as to be able to contribute more meaningfully to national development efforts.
Prof. Tagoe expressed gratitude to TrustAfrica for the funding and other forms of support towards the organization of the meeting.
About 150 participants selected from academic institutions, industry, civil society, think tanks, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the private sector, Parliament and the media attended the three-day summit which was organized by NCTE in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and TrustAfrica, Senegal.
The meeting, a follow-up to the National Policy Dialogue on Tertiary Education held in 2013, took place on the theme: ‘Crafting a National Vision and Plan for the 21st Century’.
The meeting offered the opportunity for stakeholders to deliberate on the sub-thematic areas of the draft National Vision and Plan for Tertiary Education, namely postgraduate training, research and development, funding, private sector participation, diversification and differentiation, among others, and make recommendations to inform a draft National Vision and Plan, propose an implementation framework and to provide input into current efforts at developing a long-term National Development Plan for Ghana.
The summit also deliberated on issues of supervision, management and governance of tertiary education in Ghana to make it more responsive to the country’s developmental needs in the 21st century.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney & Aliya Bayali)