Gov’t to rename four public universities in new draft Bill

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Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh - Minister of Education

Four public universities in the country will be renamed after the newly drafted  Public University Bill is adopted and passed by Parliament without any amendments.

The affected institutions include the University for Development Studies, the University of Professional Studies Accra, the University of Health and Allied Sciences, as well as the University of the Energy and Natural Resources.

It is expected that the University of Development Studies will be renamed after the first President under the Fourth Republic, Jerry John Rawlings.

The University of Professional Studies, Accra will be renamed after its founder, Nana Opoku Ampomah.

A former member of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and Convention People’s Party (CPP) will be honoured with University of Health and Allied Sciences while the University of Energy and Natural Resources is to be named in honor of former Prime Minister of Ghana, Kofi Abrefa Busia.

Last year President Akufo-Addo gave the hint that government will soon rename the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) after its founder, Nana Opoku Ampomah.

This was after he officially renamed the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) to the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, after the first President of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).

The president also announced that the Wa Polytechnic will be named after Ghana’s former President, Dr. Hilla Liman.

We’ll kick against portions of Bill ‘threatening’ university autonomy – MP

Following reports of controversial clauses in the Bill, a ranking member on Education Committee of Parliament, Peter Nortsu has said the committee will kick against sections of the policy which undermine the autonomy of universities.

Among other things, the draft Bill gives the President the power to dissolve and reconstitute the governing council of a public university in cases of emergencies.

The President is also given the power to appoint an interim council to operate for a stated period.

Per the draft, a University council shall consist of nine persons including a chairperson nominated by the President.

But responding to the reports emanating from the Bill, Mr. Nortsu said it is in Ghana’s interest to safeguard the semi-autonomous status of universities.

“If it is so, it is an attempt by the government to control the management of public universities which is not the best. It is going to take away that autonomy or freedom from the universities, so the universities are going to be managed like Senior High Schools.”

The Education Committee will make a recommendation when the Bill comes before it and Mr. Nortsu assured that “when it comes in its entirety, we will look at it and where it aims at making government control the universities, we will kick against it”, he added.

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