The acting President of the Ghana Technology University College (GTUC), Professor Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, has called on the government to expedite action on the passage of the GTUC Bill into law to make the institution a fully fledged public university.
He said the timely passage of the bill would not only make the GTUC more competitive internationally but also better position it to be a leading technology-based institution that would produce technocrats to respond appropriately to the country's developmental challenges.
"I know that the GTUC Bill 2017 has gone through the Cabinet and is currently awaiting presentation to Parliament for review, discussion and approval into an act.
"We are pleading with the government to speed up the process, so that we can have the bill passed into an act this year to enable us to award our own degrees and broaden our base towards the technical human resource needs of the country," he said.
Prof. Afoakwa was speaking at the 24th matriculation of the GTUC, which took place at the university in Accra last Saturday.
Three hundred and fifty students were inducted into two-year diploma and four-year degree programmes.
The matriculants were made up of 327 males and 23 females, seven of whom are international students.
They will pursue courses in Engineering, Computer and Information Systems and Information Technology (IT) Business.
The induction of the new entrants brings to 4,917 the number of undergraduate students at the GTUC, comprising 4,659 Ghanaians and 258 foreigners from 14 countries.
Prof. Afoakwa said the increasing digitisation of services in the country placed a responsibility on the GTUC to lead the way to produce more technology-oriented human resource for organisations that provided such essential services.
"We want to ensure that the core values of technology remain our focus, so that the products from our institution will be able to use technology to tackle developmental challenges in the fields of sanitation, health, education and others,” he said.
He announced that the university had started work on some infrastructural projects to be able to take on board more students, particularly because the huge number of free senior high school (SHS) beneficiaries was expected to put pressure on the country’s universities in the next two years.
Prof. Afoakwa said the projects were located on the main campus in Accra and the satellite campuses in Kumasi, Takoradi, Ho and Koforidua in the Ashanti, Western, Volta and Eastern regions, respectively.
He disclosed that the GTUC had been selected as one of the institutions that would benefit from a Barclays Bank Limited scholarship for tertiary students.
He explained that the scholarship would be disbursed to selected students each year and that its tenure was one academic year, renewable on academic performance.
Prof. Afoakwa said the package covered hostel and academic facility user fees, all Ghana Education Service approved fees, a laptop and feeding allowance for the duration of the academic year.
It also included mentorship opportunities and internship with the bank, Prof. Afoakwa added.
He advised the matriculants to abhor negative attitudes that had the potential to disrupt their academic performance and also affect their future.
On behalf of the matriculants, Nii Ayi Wilbert, admitted to the Faculty of Engineering, promised that the matriculating class would take full advantage of the opportunities at the GTUC to acquire skills that would make them useful to the country.
He lauded the university for the innovative programmes it had rolled out, especially the online courses.