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Ghana: Roar over private universities

Methodist University College

Methodist University College, Ghana

Alarm bells have been sounded over the credibility and the quality of education provided by some private universities in the country following reports that students were being thrown out of these institutions because they had been admitted without basic entry requirements.

Speaking in an exclusive interview, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kade, Hon. Ofosu Asamoah strongly slammed all the relevant education regulatory institutions for allowing private universities to admit students without basic requirements.

Recent media reports indicated that students numbering about 1,400 students were thrown out of the Methodist University College, 600 from the Central University College, with some in other private universities awaiting expulsion because they were not qualified to be admitted.

Some of the dismissed students have sued the Methodist University in court for what they described as their wrongful withdrawal from the university, claiming huge damages in the process.

Hon. Asamoah blamed the National Accreditation Board, National Council on Tertiary Education and the Committee of Vice-Chancellors for sitting aloof and allowing private universities to admit unqualified students, thereby lowering educational standards in the country.

The lawmaker has described it as morally wrong for these private universities to admit students and “take their money only for them to be thrown away along the line, especially when some of these universities belong to leading churches in the country.

“Some of these students are in their third year or the final year paying various sums of money ranging between GH¢1,600 and GH¢3,000 a semester only to be thrown out after years of study whilst at the point of entry, the heads of these institution, the registrars and everybody knew that they were not qualified.

“We know that within the public universities in Ghana, if you don’t get the basic requirement you don’t enter into the university. So why should people without basic entry requirements find their way into the private universities,” he quizzed.

According to Mr. Asamoah, this was occurring because some private universities were admitting students without the correct passes with the agreement that they would rewrite their failed subjects.

“It was until recently we heard that you could negotiate your entry requirement into the university with an undertaking or an agreement that whilst you are there you are going to rewrite the subjects you failed.

“All these people (students) have entered and the universities, the vice chancellors, national accreditation board and National Council for Tertiary Education are aware of this fact and have turned a blind eye to it,” Hon. Asamoah lamented.

According to him, the situation was more worrisome because most of these private universities were affiliated to public universities that were supposed to ensure high educational standards in the country.

“If these private universities with their own administration were responsible for admission, tuition and award of final certificate, we would have faulted them alone but these universities are affiliated to public universities”, he pointed out.

Mr. Asamoah regretted students of these private universities may be getting certificates issued by the public counterparts including the University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Ghana, Legon.

“These public universities cannot afford to lower the standards. Some of us went to the University of Ghana and we know how we got there so we cannot afford to lower our standards,” he emphasised.

Mr. Asamoah called on all the tertiary education regulatory bodies and owners of private universities/institutions, “especially those that belong to the churches to say the truth they know at every point in time that these people they are admitting cannot be graduated because they haven’t got the basic entry requirement to enter the university,” he urged.

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