By: EwoenamKpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
The National Accreditation Board (NAB) has commended Volta Region’s premiere university, Evangelical Presbyterian University College (EPUC) in Ho, for the important role it played and continues to play in making university education accessible to citizens of the region and the country.
Mr Lawrence Kwarteng-Ashia, Head of Public Relations on behalf of Acting Executive Secretary, NAB in a statement over the weekend at the 10th anniversary celebration of the University, said there was the need for the Institution to celebrate but also make strategic plans for the future.
“Ten years in the life of any institution is very significant and need to be celebrated but, it presents a good opportunity to reflect on how far the institution has come and strategise into the future to address the challenges ahead while positioning itself to take advantage of future opportunities.”
He said “NAB acknowledges that private tertiary institutions face a number of challenges” including funding thus, high dependence on school fees for running the institutions.
He said the Board had therefore instituted a policy where private institutions sign up with a financial or insurance company to serve as buffer to fall on for smooth running of the institutions.
The Acting President of EPUC, Dr Kenneth Nyalemegbe in presenting a report at the programme, disclosed that student enrollment had decreased from 1,500 in 2012 to 1,008 at present, citing competitions from “both public and private universities and inadequate infrastructure” as the causes.
He outlined measures including outreach programmes that the Institution had initiated to make it visible to attract potential students.
To augment income generation, Dr Nyalemegbe mentioned ventures EPUC had entered into under its Farm Project including a 6-acre land under yam cultivation at Wumenu and plans for cultivating cassava. Also, plans of piggery, rehabilitation of the Fisheries Training School at Todome and developing the Akoefe and VeKoloenu lands into research facilities.
He concluded by expressing gratitude to God and the leadership of the EP Church and its members for their support.
Clerk of the General Assembly, Rev E.A.K. Amey who represented the Moderator said the Church is happy to be associated with the problems and achievements of the University, which he referred to as the “Game-changer” in the region and the country as a whole.
He refuted the assumption people hold that EPUC is financially sound due to its existence for a decade, saying, the University “is the lowest-charging private University in Ghana” as its mandate was not to make huge profits off people.
Rev Amey therefore appealed to NAB to create a level ground for all universities to operate. According to him, private universities especially the mission-funded ones cannot stand on their own if accreditation fees as well as mentoring fees are not reduced.
Nonetheless, he pledged the continuous support of the EP Church to the University, hinting, projects were being rolled out to see that it “grows from strength to strength.”
Prof John Gatsi from the mentoring university, University of Cape Coast called on the Church to do more for the Institution and stay away from its day to day administration so as not to stifle initiatives.
Meanwhile, he advised the University administration not to take for granted, the immense contribution of the church.
The celebration which coincided with the 10th graduation and 12th matriculation programme of the University under the theme, “Celebrating 10 years of Quality Education”, saw degrees conferred on 257 duly qualified students including Member of Parliament for Nkwanta South, Geoffrey Kini. Also, 235 new students were matriculated.
Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Maxwell Blagodzi on behalf of the Regional Minister, congratulated EPUC for its role in bringing university education to the doorstep of people in the region and asked that it consolidates this feat by establishing a graduate school.
Mr Blagodzi also congratulated the students on their graduation asking them to serve as ambassadors for the Institution while urging the new students to get serious with their studies to complete their programmes successfully.
The Overall Best Student, Loverage Kofi Amenu in a valedictory speech, recounted their journey from admission to lectures to the ultimate and asked his colleagues to take on challenges and ensure they derive the best out of every situation.
Special awards were presented to Walter Komla Blege, Rev Dr Cyril Kwao Fayose and Mr Samuel Walter Kofi Buami for their immense contributions and meritorious services towards the growth of the University.