The Bolgatanga Technical University and the University of Johannesburg, South Africa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic collaboration to enhance the growth and development of the two universities.
The MoU will provide cooperation in the academic activities of the two institutions to help strengthen mutual understanding, foster friendly cooperation and promote sustainable and productive academic collaboration and exchange studies between faculties, researchers, and students.
The collaboration would also provide opportunities to the staff of the universities, especially the Bolgatanga Technical University, to upgrade to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) levels to ensure the quality of tuition and growth of the university.
Speaking at Sumbrungu in the Upper East Region, Professor Clinton Aigbavboa, Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Johannesburg (UJ), said most academic and research institutions in Africa were currently facing the challenge of getting PhD degree holders who are very critical staff for manning such institutions.
Professor Aigbavboa attributed the shortage of PhD degree holders in the academic and research institutions in Africa to the growth within the professions and the spate of faculty retirements and said the situation might worsen if nothing was done about it.
Professor Aigbavboa indicated that PhD education was a prerequisite to a research career and should ensure that the students could later take on independent, long-term research commitments, adding “the work required to earn a PhD is not worth the effort if you don’t intend to do research,” he stated.
Professor Aigbavboa made a presentation to the academic and administrative staff of BTU dubbed “PhD Academic Journey”, and took the participants through PhD Proposal and Dissertation Writing.
He entreated the staff of BTU and other tertiary intuitions in the country to take advantage of the opportunity provided under the joint academic collaboration to obtain PhDs.
“Thus, there are currently many opportunities available for persons with PhD training in Africa,” Professor Aigbavboa stressed.
Professor Peter Osei-Boamah, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Bolgatanga Technical University, who jointly signed the MOU document on behalf of the management, said his outfit was happy to go into the partnership.
He said the University of Johannesburg was equipped with state-of-art teaching and learning facilities and had been ranked among the best universities in the world and Africa and hoped for a fruitful collaboration.
He indicated that although a considerable number of lecturers in BTU had obtained their PhDs and were teaching, management was creating the enabling environment without compromising the teaching and learning of students to ensure that lecturers, who did not have their terminal degrees obtained them as a requirement for teaching in tertiary institutions.
Professor Osei-Boamah said the new collaboration would also lead to the organisation of conferences, seminars, symposiums, joint research projects in the areas of interest, collaboration on third-party funded educational or economic assistance activities, student exchange and study abroad programmes.
He added that the Bolgatanga Technical University was considering mounting postgraduate programmes in future and indicated that the partnership would help strengthen and accelerate the growth of the Technical University and impressed the staff of the university to avail themselves of the PhD programmes under the MoU.