The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa has held its 13th congregation for 684 students.
They are made up of three students of Doctor of Philosophy, 28 Masters Students and 603 Bachelor of Science students who were awarded degrees in their respective engineering programmes, while 50 students received diplomas and certificates.
A total of 126 students representing 21 per cent of the graduating class obtained First Class Honours, 61 per cent had second class (Upper Division), 17 per cent were in the second class (lower division) and one per cent had passes.
Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah, Vice Chancellor of UMaT, in his address said, the total student population currently was 3,529.
He said in the 2020/2021 academic year, the total students admitted to pursue various programmes was 1,492 which representing 76 per cent over the previous enrolment.
Prof Amankwah said the university would increase student enrolment to about 8000 in the years ahead and expressed appreciation to the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for accepting to build a Lecture Theatre Complex to support the venture.
“UMaT aims to grow the technology mindset and adventure spirit of students, sharpen their problem identification and solving skills. The University has introduced new courses such as Critical Thinking and Integrated Thought, Financial Literacy and Leadership” he said.
The Vice Chancellor indicated that “Another course; The Practice of Engineering, allows our students to become interns of local artisans so that they learn the realities of engineering practice at the local level”.
He encouraged students to generate entrepreneurial ideas out of the interactions because the Business Incubation Hub would support such students.
Prof Amankwah said the University was ready to run several new programmes if the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission gave approval and some of such postgraduate programmes that would be mounted beginning next academic year include; Postgraduate Certificate programmes in Mining, Gold Extraction Technology, Extractives Sustainability Management and Resource Value Chain Management.
These, he explained, would allow social scientists, accountants, auditors and other such professionals in the mineral industry to learn about mining and acquire degrees in the subject.
“Professional PhD programmes were also receiving attention and we have planned to engage industry so that practising engineers and other professionals can earn doctorate degrees from the innovations they develop in industry”, he added.
According to the Vice Chancellor, “research with the industry is on-going and currently every department has at least three functional Industry Partners who served as industry-interface champions. All these are aimed at building closer ties with industry”.
For this academic year, Prof. Amankwah announced that the University would introduce the project-based Gifted and Talented Education and two of such students have been identified.
He noted that “One of such is a Junior High School dropout in Tarkwa who had developed a drone using PVC pipes and controls it with the remote of a play station and his phone.
The second is a boy from Sunyani who developed keyless safes and wardrobes. These two will be given scholarships to start hands-on certificate programmes, which has a pipeline to our degree programmes”.
He thanked the government and institutions that contributed in diverse ways to help UMaT develop.
The Vice Chancellor wished all the graduands the best of luck and God’s guidance in their future endeavours. “As you transition to the next stages of your lives, please do well to project the values of Knowledge, Truth and Excellence and contribute to the development of your alma mater”.
A speech read on behalf of the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, emphasized that at the heart of Government’s development agenda was a firm commitment to provide access to quality education.
He said without the right education for the citizenry particularly in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) the foundation of Ghana’s development would be of straws.
The Vice President urged universities across the country to be meticulous in their training to help produce personnel who would drive the socio-economic and technological advancement agenda of the country.
“Remember, as graduates, that your character will determine how much you can achieve after school. The grades and academic scores may not matter after school. You should develop such positive traits as hard work, honesty, dedication, trustworthy and humility so you will be ambassadors of UMaT and Ghana” Dr Bawumia advised the graduads.