Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education, has said discussions are underway to restrict the establishment of new private universities in the country.
He said for a new university to be approved for accreditation, it must show that it would give priority to science and technology education in line with Government’s determination to implement and enforce the 60:40 policy guidelines”.
“We want by-conscious regulatory efforts to work more assiduously to achieve that target of the 60:40 policy guidelines, so do not be surprised when you soon hear the restriction on the commencement of new institutions in the humanities by prioritizing the sciences,” he said.
Mr Ablakwa, who was addressing students of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) as part of the “Campus Connect programme”, said the decision which formed part of the reforms being undertaken at the tertiary landscape in the country was in the interest of the nation.
Mr Ablakwa said the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) has developed guidelines, frame works and standards to address the phenomenon where foreign universities were constantly opening up branches in the country.
He said the NCTE has noted that some institutions were offering distance learning courses and programmes whose certificates were coming from external institutions outside the jurisdiction of the country and have also developed firm guidelines and regulations to check their operations.
Mr Ablakwa said the reforms were to give priority to science, mathematics and engineering programmes in the tertiary institutions and were also aimed at making higher education very strong and to protect the traditional universities and the territorial integrity of the country.
On the conversion of the polytechnics into technical universities, the Deputy Minister said the technical universities would not be another replica of the traditional universities but would focus on their mandate of technical, vocational and hands on education.
Mr Ablakwa said while the traditional universities continued to focus on research to generate new knowledge, the technical universities would be bent on applying those knowledge.
He said the pragmatic decision taken by the Government to abolish the teacher trainees’ allowances has led to 63.8 per cent increase in enrollment into teacher training colleges across country.
Mr Ablakwa said previously, admissions were restricted by a quota system, which did not allow the teacher training colleges to admit at their full capacity because they had to consider funding from Government.
However, he said, with the scrapping of the teacher trainees’ allowances and the quota system, enrollment into colleges of education had increased from 27,000 to 47,000 in the 38 teacher training colleges in the country since 2012 when the policy was implemented.
He advised the various student unions not to create avenues for political parties to manipulate their activities but rather maintain the dignity of their union’s constitution.