The University of Ghana, and the students who make the University of Ghana what it is, have been subjects and victims of crude jokes, (un)founded rumours, and truthfully, some lies. Among the lot, the following stand out. That one, “Legon students read bad courses”; that two, “Legon students are not serious with their books”, that three, “there is chilling in Legon!”; and that four, “Legon girls are ‘spoilt to the core’” among other things. You may google “Pink Academic Bikini- Legon Girls” my write-up on point four above.
I am not writing to answer intoto the fundamentals of all the allegations above. Now, University of Ghana rakes in millions if not a billion and over from the sale of admission forms to students every single year! I think same can be said of KNUST and UPSA, UEW, UCC and UDS etc. Three academic years ago, over 77,000 students bought UG admission vouchers at 95 cedis. Last year, slightly less the same number bought the voucher at an increased price of 110 cedis; in the present year, official figures say 60,000 students bought the same voucher but this time at 130 Ghana Cedis! But sadly, in each of the years mentioned, less than 17,000 students actually got admission. This article is, among other things, a consolation to the over 50,000 prospective students who year-on-year are passionate about coming to LEGON but as if by some intentional design, never get admission. “It is one of the most painful experiences you can ever endure, Senior Mikdad”, a friend of mine tells me.
Many an SHS graduate will be sad about not being admitted to UG, even if to read a course that borders on how to clap or to sneeze- not for anything at all, but often for the “bragging” right- “I dey ‘Leg’ oo”. Students who get admission to read the courses of their choice are eager to mention it to anyone who cares to hear, while those who have course combinations they are not so proud of, rather choose to mention one or two courses, leaving the others hanging—“I read P-Science… I read Info studies…”, when you press further, “and what else?”, the response you likely get is “that one kraa I will drop it in level 200” or “oow that’s my minor!”- answers depend on the fellow’s level and the number of courses he/she intends “hiding”.
There are those who hold the view that UG offers some of the most “useless” Courses under the sun, and they don’t see why someone should go and spend four-years in a University reading morphemes, the dead dialogue of Greek philosophers, the civilization of dusty skeletons; some anachronistic social contract thoughts irrelevant to modern day, and political theories that only adds to the mystery, the marathon of the cedi against the dollar! As if that is not enough, people are not as annoyed about BFA, than for the fact the ‘F’ stands for ‘Fine’- Bachelor of Fine Arts! Fine things!—and this is not funny!
In fact, I am not the least embarrassed by the zeal that provokes prospective students who fail in getting admission say they’d do some harm to themselves for not getting admitted to read one course or the other. Some of them are willing to offer everything, including themselves, for a UG admission slot. These are Ghanaian applicants, but wait a minute- at the last count of UG’s International Student population; as many as 34 flags from all over the world were counted. Such is the appeal of UG! Matter of fact, The University of Ghana is undoubtedly one of the most prominent tertiary institutions in Ghana and Africa. No debate on that!
There is a lot to improve about UG and the various aspects of life of students academically and socially BUT I think students who gain admission to the University of Ghana to read Swahili, Linguistics, History, Chinese, French, Political Science, Archaeology, Philosophy etc should be as proud of the courses they have been offered as they are of the institution that gave them the offer, and not only that, but that the person who never got the chance to be admitted to read any of these and any other course for that matter should not be begrudged for feeling pain in his/her ribcage. Long Live University of Ghana.
MIKDAD MOHAMMED is a level 300 VANDAL and Nkrumahist student activist of the University of Ghana