A major admission crisis is likely to confront the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) as the university has received a whopping number of over 40,000 applications for admission to its various programmes of study in the coming academic year.
Sadly enough, the university says it cannot admit even a quarter of the applicants (10,000) because of the inadequate facilities.
The large number of applicants was due to the three streams of students (four-year SHS, three-year SHS and November/December) vying for limited vacancies.
The Chancellor of the University, Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who made this known at the special congregation for the School of Graduate Studies and Institute of Distance Learning at the Great Hall last Saturday, said the “hands of the university were tied, and there was nothing it could do to save the situation now.”
“The way forward for us, as a nation, is to begin serious discussions on this whole issue of access to higher education and training,” he said.
Going further, the Asantehene suggested that a major breakthrough was the adoption of e-learning and the creation of virtual universities in Ghana.
A total of 1,902 students, made up of 1,079 from the institute of distance learning and 823 from the school of graduate studies, were presented with their degrees at the congregation.
He stressed the importance of research in tertiary education and noted with satisfaction the initiatives of the KNUST to meet the challenges in that respect.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. William Otoo Ellis, disclosed that KNUST had made a historic adventure into the international arena with the inauguration of an international distance learning (IDL) programme in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
The initiative was the result of concerted efforts between the university’s management and the Ghana Consulate in Dubai.
Currently, the IDL runs BSc Mechanical Engineering and BSc Chemical Engineering programmes in Dubai for Ghanaian nationals working in Oman, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Prof. Ellis said so far, 63 students had enrolled on the programme with a great potential for growth.
“Lectures are delivered here on our campus synchronously/asynchronously to the students in Dubai, and it has been a great opportunity to expand our frontiers,” he said.
Prof. Ellis disclosed that the university was preparing to start the construction of the Kumasi City campus on a 20-plot land donated by the Asantehene.
Besides that, four plots of land have been acquired in Tamale for the construction of the Northern City campus and work was expected to commence before the end of this year.
Again, negotiations have reached an advanced stage for the university to acquire 50 plots of land in Takoradi to be developed into the Western City campus.
In its attempt to deal with the increasing menace of waste and its management, the KNUST has collaborated with the Zoomlion Company to pilot a waste separation model, which would be operationalised in the coming months, the VC said.
He also touched on the university’s admission policy for the less endowed and said an amount of $20.78 million, the biggest support ever, had been made available to support needy but brilliant students over the next 10 years.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, said the government had allocated money for the completion of ongoing projects in the public universities to help address the challenges that would come with admissions this year.
source: Daily Graphic