Education General News

Unapproved Courses at UG and KNUST – Auditor General’s Report Exposes

Unapproved Courses at UG and KNUST - Auditor General's Report Exposes

The Auditor General’s Report for 2021 has uncovered concerning findings regarding the University of Ghana, Legon. It reveals that the university is currently offering 371 programs that lack accreditation, including 80 undergraduate courses. Among the unaccredited programs are 213 postgraduate courses and 67 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) courses.

Similar issues were acknowledged by officials from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) during their appearance before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. They admitted that KNUST also had a number of unaccredited programs.

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However, the Registrar of the University of Ghana, Mrs. Emelia Agyei-Mensah, assured the committee in Accra that 60 of the undergraduate programs at the institution had obtained full accreditation. The university has implemented measures to ensure that all remaining unaccredited courses undergo the accreditation process successfully. Mrs. Agyei-Mensah stated that once the programs are launched, students are examined and awarded certificates.

The Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, emphasized the significant efforts made towards accreditation, noting that the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission is actively collaborating with the university. Prof. Dickson stated that they have made progress, and the situation is not as problematic as it was in 2018 and 2019.

She expressed confidence in their use of technology to address the challenges, stating that they are working to leverage technology effectively. She also mentioned that the regulator is developing an electronic application to streamline processes and move away from manual methods.

In addition to the accreditation issues, the 2021 Auditor General’s Report identified several infractions, including the locking up of over GH¢1.23 million of the University of Ghana’s Research and Development Fund in a private investment firm. The Director of Finance at the time, contrary to the Vice-Chancellor’s directive, invested the money with NDK Financial Services instead of a commercial bank. Presently, only GH¢100,000 has been recovered.

The current Director of Finance, Bernice B. Agudu, explained to the committee that the investment was made in 2017 before her tenure, and the Vice-Chancellor’s directive came four years later. She mentioned that NDK Financial Services faced liquidity challenges, and the university’s legal team was working to recover the outstanding amount.

The report also highlighted challenges faced by the university’s learning centers throughout the country. However, the Registrar assured the committee that, except for the Wa learning center, which was approximately 50% complete, and the Bolgatanga center, all other centers were functioning properly. She confirmed that the Bolgatanga center had been assigned to a contractor to catch up with the progress of the rest.

Another issue raised in the report concerned the encroachment of university land in the Volta Region by a private developer. The Director of Finance clarified that the private developer had been evicted, and all necessary documentation for the university’s lands nationwide had been completed and secured.

Regarding student accommodation, Ms. Agudu announced that the University of Ghana was constructing a 1,000-bed hostel facility using internally generated funds to accommodate more students. When asked about the university’s involvement in setting accommodation prices for privately built facilities, the Vice-Chancellor responded negatively.

A committee member and Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South, Clement Apaak, expressed concern over escalating hostel facility prices, with some charging as high as GH¢24,000 per year. He suggested a national dialogue to address the issue.

A committee member and MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, advocated for the prosecution of public institution leaders, especially those in universities, for financial infractions.

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