KNUST, first Ghanaian university to submit to AQRM processes – Prof. Obiri-Danso

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has received high marks being rated to be of ‘Good Quality’ after an evaluation by the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM), a barometer used in assessing the credibility of universities on the continent.

Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said the institution scored 3.25 on the AQRM’s evaluation scale, which was next to exceptional per the assessment of the regulatory body.

The criteria took into consideration teaching and learning facilities, quality of infrastructure and material resources, quality of students’ services, academic staff profile in terms of qualifications and rank, as well as relevant documents and policies guiding the University’s conduct.

Prof Obiri-Danso, addressing the closing session of the 52nd congregation of the University at the Great Hall, Kumasi, said their vision was to become one of the top ten universities on the African continent.

The AQRM was developed by the African Union (AU) Commission, as part of the strategies to harmonize higher education, and adopted by the Conference of Ministers of Education in 2007.

The aim is revitalize and strengthen educational institutions of higher learning to ensure they were globally competitive and attractive, while being locally-relevant.

It is also a tool intended to facilitate benchmarking of quality and to promote a culture of on-going improvements in higher education.

Prof Obiri-Danso said a total number of 6, 528 students, comprising 5, 848 undergraduates and 680 post-graduates were presented for certificates by all the six Colleges in this year’s congregation.
Sixty-one (61) out of the graduating students were awarded Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) degrees, while 651 graduated in the First Class division.

The Vice-Chancellor said as a country, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was the surest way to advancing the economy.

For that reason, the World Bank, through the Ministry of Communication’s e-Transform Project has granted KNUST an amount of $500,000 for the establishment of an Innovation Hub within the University’s Business Incubator.

The objective of the KNUST I-Hub is to create a conducive atmosphere and co-worker space with the highest bandwidth connectivity where people who intend to create ICT-related innovative ideas can sit with like-minds to think, design and develop prototypes, towards commercialization.

Prof Obiri-Danso said the entire project seeks to bring qualitative change and standards to ‘Made-in-Ghana’ products, adding that there was a 30 per cent component women participation in the project.

In the areas of research and innovation, the Vice-Chancellor was emphatic that the University had made some giant strides, saying one Dr (Mrs) Cynthia Amaning Danquah of the Department of Pharmacology, was featured extensively by the BBC for her research into how to use onions to tackle antibiotic resistance in infectious diseases globally.

In addition, Prof Kwabena Ofori-Kwakye and his team from the Department of Pharmaceutics, were also researching into the potential use of some cassava varieties as substitutes for imported maize starch in the pharmaceutical industry.

This is expected to serve as a binding agent in the pharmaceutical industry for the manufacture of tablets, capsules and other dosage forms.

The pharmaceutical industry currently imports millions of dollars of maize starch annually from Europe and Asia for the manufacture of various pharmaceutical products in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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