President Akufo-Addo has declared the campuses of the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Wa in the Upper West Region and Navrongo in the Upper East Region as autonomous.
“Cabinet has given approval for the Wa campus and Navrongo campus of the UDS to become autonomous universities”, the President announced at the 25th-anniversary celebration and 19th congregation of UDS at Dungu in the Northern Region.
According to the President, the bill for gazetting them is currently with the Attorney-General and would be sent to Parliament for ratification.
He said the Wa campus would now be known as the University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, while the Navrongo campus would now be called the University of Technology and Applied Science; they are subject to parliamentary approval.
The Tamale and Nyankpala campuses of the university would remain as one institution.
The decision would allow each of the existing 10 regions to at least have one public university.
The two new universities in Wa and Navrongo would follow the steps of University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, established by the Kufuor administration, which initially was a KNUST campus and University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, another KNUST campus which was granted autonomy by the Mills administration. UDS was established in 1993 and it currently has four separate campuses in Wa, Navrongo, Nyankpala and Tamale in the Northern Region.
Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that government was aware of the infrastructural challenges in the various universities and assured the UDS of its share of plans to address the infrastructural needs.
The President tasked the various heads of the universities in Ghana to start making preparations towards the expansion of their universities because of the population of students who are beneficiaries of free senior high school programme, who will be seeking admission into the various universities.
He assured students and the leadership of the university of government’s commitment to initiate policies and programmes to enhance the capacity of graduates to contribute to the socio-economic transformation of the country.
“It is my expectation and hope that UDS will continue to produce graduates who will take up opportunities and possibilities for higher achievements through innovations and creativity in today’s science and technology era”, he stated.
He encouraged UDS to share reports of its students’ practical programmes with the various district assemblies and directed through the Ministry of Local Government that the affected assemblies should contact the university for field reports in order to incorporate them into their policy analysis proposals.
Nutifafa Kuenyehia, Chairman of the Governing Council of UDS, said the university would inaugurate a business innovation centre to help students put their ideas into practice for business development.
Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, Vice-Chancellor of the University, appealed for support to build UDS’ Information and Communication Technology infrastructure to, among others, enhance students’ research activities