"Private Universities Play A Vital Role"
He said such institutions revitalised the higher education system and therefore needed the full recognition of government to help in shaping the educational system of the country.
“Government and her agencies need to give recognition to the contribution of private universities to higher education and support, encourage, stimulate and enhance their work and operations”, he said.
Rev Prof Obeng was the addressing the second congregation on the University College of Management Studies (UCOMS) of which 224 students were awarded degrees in B.Sc in Accounting, Human Resources Management, Banking and Finance and Procurement and Supply Chain Management.
Out of this number 23 students had first class, 105 had second class upper, 82 had second class lower while 18 and one student had third class and pass respectively.
Rev Prof Obeng said the private universities and institutions had now become a permanent and important feature of the higher education scene due to the importance attached to the quality of graduates and programmes offering.
He said from a low figure of nine in 2005, Ghana now had about 55 accredited private tertiary institutions saying “the rapid increase in the number of the private universities has attracted attention”.
“The recent seeming high handedness of the National Accreditation Board in taking some private universities to task on admission requirements and threatening to withdraw accreditation from others that it deemed have violated its regulations is evidence of this attention”, he said.
“However, generally the Ghanaian public has responded positively to the establishment of private universities”, he noted.
Rev Prof Obeng said currently the public sector tertiary was facing difficulty in absorbing the teeming youth who graduate from the pre-tertiary institutions every year even though successive governments had made attempts to expand and improve access to higher education.
For this reason, he said, private universities provided good avenues to compliment the public tertiary institutions to absorb the huge number of pre-tertiary students as well as adult learners who are unable to gain access to the public schools.
He lauded the private tertiary institutions for their innovative and market driven programmes as well as flexible arrangement to meet the needs of various segments of students including workers.
Dr Henry Fram Akplu, Rector of UCOMS, said the school was committed to provide world class learning environment to students who desire to have quality education.
He said consequently UCOMS was putting in place pragmatic measures to expand and diversify its academic offerings to prepare students to fit into the global market.
He said there were also plans to expand facilities to accommodate desired expansion in programme offerings.
He congratulated the graduates and charged them to cultivate an attitude that would help them flourish wherever they find themselves.
Dr Sazrar Opata, Chairman of Board of Director of UCOMS, urged the graduates to put their knowledge acquired to the service of humanity and develop good working habits, hard work and be committed to their duties.
He also admonished them to use their education to enlighten all who come their way saying they should serve as the ‘‘flame which dispel the darkness of ignorance in all corners of this country’’.
Mr Matthew Conduah, the overall best student, who spoke on behalf of the graduates, said they were committed to the sustenance of the UCOMS alumni.
He called on management of the University to expand its infrastructure to provide students a conducive atmosphere for studies.