The University of Cape Coast’s (UCC) vision of becoming a world acclaimed university, strongly positioned for innovative teaching, research, outreach and professional development, would be realized if its bolts of research were tightened to meet international standards.
Professor Isaac Luginaah, of the University of Western Ontario, Canada, who made the observation therefore challenged UCC to strengthen its foundation for research and build strong graduate programmes to remain relevant and keep up with international standards.
He was delivering a public lecture, organised by the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) of UCC on the theme: “UCC @ 60 in the horizon; where is our research headed”.
He said building a research-intensive university would help UCC to rediscover, elucidate and evaluate new knowledge and ideas that were essential in driving the future of society and humanity.
Prof Luginaah stressed that research fostered professional excellence in faculties which were important for delivering outstanding students education and intensified quality teaching experiences.
He recommended to the UCC to build strong graduate programmes, organise periodic research reviews, and outline clear research strategic plan, stressing that they were tried and tested mechanisms for supporting research.
On graduate programmes, he said it was a tool to developing the next generation and urged UCC to make a conscious effort to increase post graduate enrollment and enrich its supervisory capacity.
Prof Luginaah, also stressed the need to employ enough experienced staff who were prepared to offer effective support, and charged management to focus on improving Information Communication and Technology (ICT) infrastructure and facilities that enhanced usability.
“ICT is key to enhance detailed research and it is however the way to go for every contemporary university which wants to achieve its set goals, there’s increasingly demand for higher use of ICT, so let’s push further in that area to meet all standards”, he added.
Speaking on the struggles of early career researchers, the Professor, stated that researchers struggled to find supportive and productive spaces, where they could advance their careers and as a result, their university lost in the end.
Consequently, he urged all universities to make explicit provisions for the needs of emerging researchers and most importantly assist them in getting their works published because the headaches of career progression were barriers at the institutional level.
Lamenting on general research in Ghana, Prof Luginaah described the institutional framework that supported research as weak which were undermined by the lack of dedicated research policies and institutions.
“Ghanaian researches are undoubtedly good but at the end of the day, the quality of the research input is mixed and part of the problem is our research culture, and the weak system of academic motivation and incentives connected to research production” he further stated.
Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong, Vice Chancellor of UCC, reflected on the 60-year journey of the University and noted that the lecture offered a good introspection of the path of University was charting.
He said it was crucial to enhance developed research schemes and systems to position UCC as an entrepreneurial university.
He however pledged his commitment to improve infrastructural facilities to aid quality accessible and dependable researches in the school of choice.