Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has appealed to corporate entities, philanthropic organisations and individuals for support for the University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Endowment Fund (VCEF).
He said every year, more than 1,350 students who qualify to enter the UPSA are not able to do so due to financial challenges.
He said an average of 300 students defer their studies at the UPSA each year due to acute financial need, adding that a significant number of UPSA students drop out before completing final year due to financial difficulties.
“On the average, UPSA receives 1,240 applications for financial assistance each year. These statistics have worried Management for quite some time, and to help the situation, the University launched the VCEF in October, 2017,” Prof Amartey said during UPSA’s 11th Congregation in Accra.
At the event, a total of 657 students from the UPSA’s School of Graduate Studies graduated.
The total figure comprises of 18 Master of Philosophy in Leadership studies, 632 Master of Business Administration students with various specialisations and seven Master of Science in Leadership students.
The VCEF is an investment fund established for receiving third party donations as well as contributions from the university, with the purpose of generating income for scholarships to support brilliant but needy students in the university.
Prof Amartey said the Fund is targeting an amount of GH¢100 million as seed money in four years.
He said to demonstrate their commitment to the Fund, the entire UPSA community (individuals and groups) periodically supported.
“Last year, the Fund awarded 20 scholarships to deserving students,” the Vice-Chancellor said.
“It is the intention of Management to increase the scholarship awards in the 2019/2020 academic year. Towards realizing the target, we are appealing to all to donate generously to support this worthy cause,” he added.
Prof Amartey recalled that at the end of the admission process for the 2018/2019 academic year, the total number of those who gained admission and registered fresh students stood at 4,526.
He said this included 1,043 diploma students, 2,768 undergraduates and 715 postgraduate students; stating that this represented an 11.80 per cent increase in registration over the previous academic year’s figure.
He noted that the University had projected an increase in its student’s enrolment further by about 15 per cent in the 2019/2020 academic year.
“We hope to achieve this admissions target as the improved profile of the University has made it the preferred choice of most prospective applicants especially due to our commitment to expansion of facilities for teaching, learning and research,” Prof Amartey said.
He added that the enrolment of students in the morning, evening and weekend sessions also helps to optimize the use of physical facilities and human resources.
Prof Amartey said the university is currently blending professional programmes with normal degree programmes, aimed at making the UPSA graduates more relevant and job-ready, through their dual qualification scheme.