Officials from four public universities have embarked on a programme to reach out to students of deprived senior high schools (SHS) in northern Ghana to sensitise them to the courses of study at the universities and the entry requirements.
The programme has been necessitated by the universities’ concern about the inability of students in these deprived schools to fill university entry forms, lack of knowledge about entry requirements for courses they wish to undertake and lack of talents and capabilities to pursue such programmes.
The four universities are the University of Ghana, Legon; the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the University of Cape Coast and the University of Energy and Renewable Natural Resources, Sunyani.
At the start of the programme in the Upper West Region in Wa, the officials took turns to showcase their institutions and their programmes to final and second year students drawn from some of the SHSs in the region.
The students were taken through university courses, entry requirements, steps for admission and post-admission processes.
The officials said the cut-off point for most of the courses was based on the general performance of applicants during a given year and the number of students who applied for the programme in that given year.
They urged the students to ensure that their elective subjects at SHS were related to the programmes they wished to pursue at the university, stressing that some of the subjects such as Physics and Mathematics stood out as elective subjects for any student who wished to study a programme like engineering.
They described as suicidal students who thought they were so brilliant that they could afford to fill for only one programme like medicine or law, and leave no room for second and third choices.
Mr Festus Nyame, an Assistant Registrar of KNUST, advised the students not to apply for programmes that were highly competitive and which they had little chance of gaining admission for.
Highly competitive subjects
Instead of pharmacy, for example, which is one of the highly competitive programmes, he said they could opt for herbal medicine which was equally a good course within the College of Health Sciences at KNUST.
A good grade in elective mathematics qualified an applicant for all programmes at KNUST, he stated.
Mr Peter Kaba, Executive Secretary of Vice Chancellors, Ghana, said the exercise was a necessary initiative aimed at erasing the difficulties encountered by the deprived students in choosing the right course of study at the universities.
He noted that students in deprived schools were at an extreme disadvantage, considering the fact that they neither have library facilities nor access to internet facilities.
“The outreach programme is not to be seen as a platform to canvass for students but an opportunity for you to learn how to prepare and enter the university,” he told the students.
Choice of programmes at the universities are determined by what students do at the SHS, and that not every elective subject goes with a course at the university.