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Influx Of Private Universities, A Severe Challenge To Accommodation In The City   
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Access to tertiary education in Ghana is no more a worry as there are a greater number of institutions and universities.

Ghana is an attractive country for students seeking to study abroad to opt for. As a result students from neighboring countries like Nigeria, Cote d’ivoire, Gabon, Sierra Leon to mention a few come into the country to further their studies. Besides, the Ghanaian university educational system is acclaimed globally as outstanding.

 Most of the public universities enjoy greater recognition globally. In 2012 world ranking top universities in Africa for instance, all six public universities in Ghana fared better than their Nigerian counterparts. The University of Ghana came top on the list on the 14th position.

There is another class of university thus the private universities which is either privately owned by individuals or faith based organization and are duly accredited by the National Accreditation board of Ghana.

 Even though this is a good move by the government to open up space for private sector participation. There is consequently a proliferation of Private Universities and other Public Institutions ranging from faith based institutions to purely commercial ventures without putting proper measures in place to accommodate its student’s populace.

The springing up of pre universities and private universities in the country of late is becoming a major problem posing serious accommodation challenges for workers and other residents. The schools which are mostly situated in the city have little or no accommodation facilities to cater for their over populated student body. As a result there is a competition between workers, students and other residents for accommodation facilities. Many foreign students are also attracted to the country and the lack of adequate hostel facilities compels them to rent outside their campus.

Currently, there are 6 Government Universities, 9 Professional Public Institutes/ Universities and 51 Private University Colleges in Ghana. Accra alone is packed with 24 out of the 51 Private Universities and still counting. This in adverse is mounting pressure on some landlords who sees it as an opportunity by converting their houses into hostel facilities to accommodate the students. Tenants on the other hand are faced with the inconvenience of having to cope with the new arrangements or risk been ejected.

Areas of interest include Abeka, Lapaz, Kotobabi, Alajo, Dansoman, North Kaneshie, Labadi and its environs among others. Abeka a suburb of Accra is one area where this arrangement is rampant and evolving. Residents say landlords are now converting their houses into hostels and some have also seized the opportunity to demand high rents.

Others are also of the view that since majority of the students benefiting from this new arrangements are foreigners, it is of a great disadvantage as rightful citizens are been denied proper accommodation.

In a discussion with an aggrieved resident who works at Asylum Down, he said the situation is really stressing workers especially as they now have to relocate to look for accommodation in locations out of Accra. This he recounted has brought untold hardships and is draining their expenses. Also the stress one has to go through in the morning for transportation to work alone is very tiresome and this is affecting their productivity at work.

The onus therefore lies on the institutions and authorities in charge of the education sector to help check and regulate this new evolving trend by rather making sure other regions get a fair and better distribution of any future University; to ensure an even rural urban distribution of the populace. This will help decongest the city and also enhance rural development.
Source: Brenda Adu- Gyamfi/[email protected]

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