Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice Chancellor, University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), has appealed to government to allow public universities to keep the entire 100 per cent of their internally generated funds (IGF).
He explained that this would facilitate the smooth functioning of the universities in order to produce the needed manpower for the nation’s socio-economic development.
Prof Amartey made the appeal over the weekend in his maiden address at the Ninth Congregation of the UPSA, on the theme: “Celebrating Professional and Scholarly Excellence for Accelerated Nation Building.”
Prof Amartey said: “We have received instructions from the Ministry of Finance that all public universities are required to cede 34 per cent of their IGF to government.
“It is noteworthy that apart from staff emolument and funding of very few projects the government provides; the University of Professional Studies, like other public universities, has to rely heavily on IGF for its operations,” the Vice Chancellor said.
“What makes the matter worse for the University of Professional Studies, in particular, is that while every public university was started with some seed money, our University was not fortunate enough to have enjoyed such a largesse from government,” he added.
He explained that the implication was that the University had to rely mainly on IGF to develop its physical infrastructure facilities for research, teaching and learning, as well as the provision of office equipment and other facilities.
“From the foregoing, parting away with 34 per cent of IGF will have dire consequences on the finances of this University.
“I wish therefore, to humbly appeal that government takes a second look at this matter and allow public universities to keep the entire 100 per cent of the IGF for the smooth functioning of the universities in order to produce the needed manpower for this country,” he remarked.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education in a speech read on his behalf announced that government had directed all public universities to reverse their fees to that of the 2016/2017 academic year, until Parliament determined the new fees in line with the Fees Act.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said this new directive was to enable the public universities reopen on time for the 2017/2018 academic year.
He said the concerns expressed by the public universities on the Finance Ministry’s directive that all public universities were required to cede 34 per cent of the IGF to the government was receiving due attention.
The event was under the sponsorship of the UMB, Access Bank, United Pension Trustees Limited, Excellence Business College, Ideal Financial Services and SIC Life as its sponsors.
At the congregation an honorary doctorate degrees were conferred on Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament; Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs; and Dr Nii Kotei Dzani, the Chief Executive Officer of Ideal Group and the Greater Accra Regional Representative on the Council of State.
The confinement of the honorary doctorate degrees on the trio was in recognition of their contributions towards Ghana’s socio-economic development and their outstanding achievements in the field of endeavours.
A total of 4,007 students graduated, which is the highest in the history of the University.
Of the number, there were 280 diplomates, 3,255 undergraduate and 472 postgraduate students.
At the undergraduate level, a total of 41, representing 1.26 per cent of the graduating class obtained first class degrees; 783, representing 24.06 per cent with second class upper degrees; 1,204, representing 36.99 per cent with second class lower degrees; and 916, representing 28.14 per cent went home with third class.
For the diplomates, seven, representing 2.50 per cent attained distinction, while 136 obtained credit and 137 got pass.
Mr Bagbin, on behalf of his colleagues awardees expressed gratitude to the Management and Staff of the UPSA for the honour done them.
He said the award would go a long way to motivate them to do more for mother Ghana.
On his part, Dr Dzani, himself an alumnus of the UPSA announced that the Ideal Group would set a scholarship scheme at the UPSA, which would sponsor 10 students annually.
He also announced that the Group would grant 10 automatic employment opportunities to graduates from UPSA.
Drolor Bosso Adamtey I, UPSA Chancellor, who presided over the Congregation, advised the graduating students to be innovative to create opportunities for themselves and others.