The University of Ghana, (UG) Legon, is to set up an endowment fund to address the impact of growth in areas such as finance, accommodation, curriculum development, governance and administration that negatively affect the institution.
The fund is expected to lessen the burden on the university in the recruiting, training and socialization of staff and students, setting and maintaining standards as well as in examinations and awarding of certificates.
Mr Kofi Annan, Chancellor of UG, disclosed on Saturday at the second congregation held in Accra for 4,500 graduating students for the 2009 and 2010 academic year.
The graduates were made up of 551 diploma and certificate recipients, 3,471 undergraduates and 478 post-graduate candidates, with 10 graduating with PhDs.
Mr Annan called on stakeholders in the education sector to support the endowment fund when it is launched, to address the challenges posed by the growth in the university.
He paid glowing tribute to Prof Clifford Nii Boi Tagoe, Vice Chancellor of UG, for 25 years of dedicated service to the university, the last four of which he served as the Vice Chancellor.
"We say thank you and good bye to Prof. Tagoe in advance, in addition to whatever else the university might decide to do to honour him when the time comes. The university's sincerest appreciation goes to you for everything you have ever done for her and will continue to do in the future," he said.
Prof Tagoe, whose terms of office as the Vice Chancellor of the university comes to and end on 31st July, said beginning August this year, work done by all students in the first year, would count towards the determination of their degrees.
"It is hoped that this would motivate students to plunge into serious academic work as soon as they are admitted to the university," he said.
Prof Tagoe said university requirements for graduation have now undergone changes in content and structure and had included Language skills and Academic writing, Critical thinking, Logic and behaviourism, Liberal and African studies, Science and technology and Numeric skills, all aimed at providing a more engaging learning environment, judicious use of academic facilities and encouraging greater interaction between students and their lecturers.
He said in line with the four year degree programme, the Faculty of Law would from the 2011 and 2012 academic year; reintroduce direct entry into the LLB programme, adding that, "this will see the faculty of law operating a mixed intake system with one group made up of first degree holders and the other of senior high school graduates."
Prof Tagoe said the university was examining various scenarios for the admission of graduates from the senior high school system in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 academic years against the backdrop of a possible reversal to the three year senior high school.
He said the university remained the destination of academic choice for many people and urged the students not to be deterred with the latest report on the ranking of universities in Africa and in Ghana that sought to place UG on a lower platform.
He urged the students to consider the ranking merely as a guide to propel them to greater strides.
"Be humbled and principled in all your dealings and you are sure to go far in whatever you set your mind to do. I encourage you to avoid the temptation to get rich quick but to pace yourself and to set specific targets for your further education, career advancement and family life," he said.
Mr Charles Cofie, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Ghana Limited, expressed confidence in the university's ability to produce a breed of qualified students who would be able to create new knowledge that would result in innovative products and services in the business world.
He urged the graduates to be critical thinkers whose innovations would help make the country function as the hub for West Africa in the areas of business, agriculture, tourism, logistics and social services.
Dr Elsie Effah Kaufmann, a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering Science, who is also the hostess of the National Science and Mathematics Quiz television programme, was adjudged winner of the 2009 Best Teacher Award for the Sciences.
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