The Ministry of Education has directed all public universities to reverse their fees to that of the 2016/2017 academic year, until Parliament determines the new one 2017/2018 academic year in line with the Fees Act.

Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, said, the new directive was to enable the public universities reopen on time for the 2017/2018 academic year.

Dr Opoku Prempeh gave the directive in a speech read on his behalf at the Ninth Congregation of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).

Dr Opoku said the concerns expressed by the public universities on the Finance Ministry’s directive that all public universities were required to cede 34 per cent of the internally generated funds to government was receiving due attention.

He said government was in the process of establishing the National Research Fund to promote and support research for the nation’s socio-economic development.

He explained that the National Research Fund, would not replace the Book and Research Allowance of public university lecturers; but rather complement it.

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At the congregation, which was on the theme: “Celebrating Professional and Scholarly Excellence for Accelerated Nation Building,” a total of 4,007 students graduated, which is the highest in the history of the University.

Of the number, there were 280 diplomates, 3,255 undergraduate and 472 postgraduate students.

An honorary doctorate degrees were conferred on Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament; Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs; and Dr Nii Kotei Dzani, the Chief Executive Officer of Ideal Group and the Greater Accra Regional Representative on the Council of State.

The confinement of the honorary doctorate degrees on the trio was in recognition of their contributions towards Ghana’s socio-economic development and their outstanding achievements in the field of endeavours.

The Congregation was under the sponsorship of the UMB, Access Bank, United Pension Trustees Limited, Excellence Business College, Ideal Financial Services and SIC Life as its sponsors.

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Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice Chancellor, in his maiden report to the Congregation, said the four strategic goals that the University was anchored under his leadership were: Enhancing institutional image and development, improving institutional effectiveness, promoting research and enterprise and effectively competing in the global higher education environment.

He said the University would be setting up a the Vice Chancellor’s Endowment Fund, to enable bright, but needy students to receive undergraduate and postgraduate education at the UPSA, against their personal pledge to work for Ghana upon graduation.

He announced that Barclays Bank Limited had selected the UPSA as one of its beneficiary of the Barclays Tertiary Scholarship.
He said the scholarship would be disbursed to 15 students each academic year.

The Vice Chancellor appealed to the government to take a second at the directives by the Finance Ministry, that public universities should cede 34 per cent of their internally generated funds to government; and allow them to retain 100 per cent of the funds.
Mr Bagbin, on behalf of his colleagues awardees expressed gratitude to the Management and Staff of the UPSA for the honour done them.
He said the award would go a long way to motivate them to do more for mother Ghana.

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On his part, Dr Dzani, himself an alumnus of the UPSA announced that the Ideal Group would set a scholarship scheme at the UPSA, which would sponsor 10 students annually.

He also announced that the Group would grant 10 automatic employment opportunities to graduates from UPSA.
Drolor Bosso Adamtey I, UPSA Chancellor, who presided over the Congregation, advised the graduating students to be innovative to create opportunities for themselves and others.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh