The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), has held a virtual matriculation ceremony for its undergraduate students for the 2020/2021 academic year.
In all 70 students were enrolled for Professional programmes, 1,623 for Diplomas, 5,671 for Undergraduate, and 883 for Postgraduate programmes.
The total number of registered fresh students stands at 8,247 and comprises 4,478 males and 3,769 females; a ratio of 54:46.
The matriculation for the postgraduate students was held a couple of weeks ago.
Among the fresh undergraduate students were six international students from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and Togo.
Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice-Chancellor, UPSA, said this year’s intake represented a 38.44 per cent increase from the previous year’s and, undoubtedly, the highest admission in the history of the University.
He said the matriculation session was being held exclusively for the undergraduate and diploma students because of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
“This pandemic has brought untold challenges; with the most critical being managing academic activities safely, amidst the growing threat of the pandemic,” Prof. Amartey said.
“Health experts warned us of a more devastating second wave of the virus in our part of the world,”
he said, a development to bring possible disruption in the academic work if care was not taken.
He urged all to play their parts in the fight against the virus by adhering to the COVID-19 protocols; that is wearing of face masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing or sanitising.
On teaching and learning, the Vice-Chancellor said Management had decided that the normal in-person instructional method, which spanned 13 weeks per semester, would now have the first six weeks in-person or face to face with double contact hours per week, and another six weeks of on-line or virtual teaching.
“There will, of course, be one week of revision; thus, the 13th week would be devoted to revision,” he said.
Prof Amartey said the end of semester examinations would largely be held in-person with examinations for a few courses taken on-line or as take-home assignments.
With regard to new academic programmes, he said the University matriculated the first batch of students for the Master of Science in Insurance Risk Management programme at the first session of the 2021 Matriculation ceremony held earlier for the postgraduate students.
That was after the university received accreditation to mount the programme last year, he said.
“We have also received approval for the introduction of the Master of Science in Procurement programme,” he said.
“The 2021/2022 academic year will certainly see the admission of the first batch of students into this programme.”
On infrastructure, Prof. Amartey said despite all the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new projects initiated in 2019 were progressing according to schedule.
These include the two hostel building projects, which, cumulatively, would accommodate approximately 3,000 students, and the multipurpose, twin tower building, which would comprise commercial, office and lecture rooms.
He said the University had acquired a property behind the new auditorium to be redeveloped into a hostel for postgraduate students, geared towards easing the students’ accommodation problems.
Prof. Amartey urged the fresh students to go by the tenets of their Matriculation Oath and be guided by the rules and regulations contained in their Students’ Handbook.
He said social media was in vogue but advised the students to use it for positive purposes that would help their cause in the University.
The Vice-Chancellor, who advised the students to be mindful of HIV/AIDS, also cautioned them, especially the ladies, against indecent dressing.
Dr Kofi Ohene-Konadu, the Chairman of the UPSA Governing Council, advised the students to take their studies seriously, as that was the main reason of their being in the school.
Dr Koryoe Anim-Wright, the Registrar of UPSA, administered the matriculation oath to the students.