KNUST find ways to attract more females into learning science

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has taken steps to substantially increase the number of female students pursuing science-based programmes at the institution.


Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, the new Vice Chancellor, said a Unit to be headed by a female professor was being set up just for that.

The “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Unit”, would design and implement special mentorship programmes at the pre-tertiary level to whip up the interest of girls in science education and careers.

It would liaise with relevant international and state departments and agencies including the Ministries of Education, Gender and Social Protection and Environmental Science and Technology to achieve the goal.

Prof Obiri-Danso, speaking after his investiture said the university would go to every length to help tackle the under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.

He indicated that at the pre-tertiary level, almost equal number of girls and boys take up mathematics and science subjects and had been performing almost equally.

The situation was, however, different at the tertiary level where fewer women than men either got the opportunity or were willing to pursue science programmes.

“In programmes such as physics, mathematics, engineering and computer science, the female ratio is dramatic with less than 10 per cent of the university’s students being women”, he added.

The Vice Chancellor said the paradox was that in many cases, “these ladies top their class”.

He announced that Governing Council would for the 2016/2017 academic year, review the cut-off point for girls opting for programmes in engineering, physics, computer science and mathematics.

He also spoke of plans to establish centres of excellence in climate science, nursing and oil and gas, to strengthen research in these areas.

Source: GNA/News Ghana


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