Transform University Education in Ghana

University Education in Ghana has transformed rapidly over the years, gone were the days where tertiary education was only available via the 3 Premier Public Universities; University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology and the University of Cape Coast. It’s not as it used to be.

Today, Private universities have sprung up over various parts of the country, and though they haven’t reached the peak and level of the premier public Universities, they are making great efforts to produce the best of graduates for our nation.

But from a critical point of view, university education needs more room for improvement. It is the back bone of education; the stage where professionals, experts, researchers, inventions and critical analysis transpire. University education should be a platform for continuation and birth of further knowledge.
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For example, studying computer science should develop one into not just becoming an I.T expert or a programmer, but to also invent and create more within that field of study, from applications to programs, etc. The same goes for one studying Mechanical Engineering. It shouldn’t just impart one with knowledge on how machines and ‘stuff’ work, but it should lead to creation, re-creation and invention to solve societal needs.

Sadly, that isn’t the case in our universities today. How often do we practice what we study in school after graduation? Are most of the courses we study in school meeting the demands of the job market?  Our university education needs to be transmogrified, from the learning process to exams to research. The key part is research; the knowledge developed over the years resulting in the syllabus and curriculum was through research and it’s important that it continues and improves.

Univerisities today are the pinnacle when it comes to research and discovery. Recently it came to light that KNUST had developed a pyrolysis reactor; a machine that converts plastic waste into bio-diesel. That’s really great news. The yearly Trade and Technology Fairs (TRATECH), exhibit amazing inventions by students. Unfortuntately, these students are not able to get the requisite support and funds to improve on their invention.

It is important that more attention is given to entrepreneurship, and students be guided into becoming great thinkers who can drive ideas and change to solve societal needs. Education isn’t just about knowledge acquisition to earn a livelihood. It is reasoning and application of the knowledge to develop ourselves and everything around us.

The transformation of major key parts of our economy and political system mainly rest on our university education. I was recently speaking to one young great entrepreneur Kwabena Gyan; C.E.O of Ingenuity Alliance Holdings.  This is a young man who has developed great business ideas and innovations basically using technology to solve problems.

During our conversation he talked about an observation he had made that university students are mainly assessed at the end of the semester, which he mainly disagreed with. He believed the students should be assessed consistently, which would help make them sharper and great thinkers devoid of the “chew and pour, pass and forget ” syndrome.

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