Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, a Deputy Minister of Education has announced that the Government intends to establish five Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Universities in five of the newly created regions in the country this year.
In addition, 10 STEM Senior High Schools (SHS) and academies are being constructed at a pre-tertiary level to create a viable and credible pipeline to attain the country’s strategic objective in that area of education.
Rev Ntim Fodjour, made the disclosure at the investiture of Prof Eric Nyarko-Sampson, as the Vice-Chancellor; induction of Mrs Mary Abena Agyepong as the Registrar of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) at Somanya in the Yilo krobo District of the Eastern Region.
The government’s strategic objective is to attain a 60:40 science humanities ratio as against the current 40:60 in favour of humanity by the year 2030.
In line with the expansion and promotion of STEM education in the country, Rev Fordjour gave an assurance that the university’s proposal in seeking government’s support to be established as STEM education centre will receive rapid attention.
He charged the university to conduct ground-breaking research and powerful inventions to compel the world to seek solutions from UESD for a more habitable environment for humanity as it was established during a global turmoil.
Professor Nyarko-Sampson and Mrs Agyepong were invested and inducted as the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar of UESD respectively, to officially deliver in their appointed offices.
Prof Eric Nyarko-Sampson, the newly invested Vice-Chancellor, noted that the university had recorded an increment in the student population from 77 in 2020/2021 academic year to 269 in 2022.
He announced that three researchers at UESD won the university’s first research grant of an amount of USD 15,000 from the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) – Call on Climate Change and Economic Development in Africa grant.
Prof Nyarko-Sampson said the university awaits a positive response from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a proposal submitted for the establishment of a Chair in Environmental Sciences.
Prof Jonathan N Ayertey, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the university noted that despite the many gains of the university, there were various challenges which needed to be addressed urgently.
He listed the absence of a university Basic School on campus, inadequate staff housing and hostel facilities, inadequate office spaces and facilities and inadequate staff means of transportation as challenges faced by the university.
Prof Ayertey, therefore, appealed to the Minister of Education to help construct a university Basic School on campus for the wards of staff to relieve the stress of staff sending their wards to school outside the walls of the university.
The University of Environment and Sustainable Development was established by an Act of Parliament, UESD Act, 2015 (Act 898) and inaugurated on August 5, 2020, to provide higher education, disseminate knowledge related to development of environment and agrobusiness education, undertake research and foster relationships with persons outside the institution.