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‘Tertiary Education Attracts Foreign Students To Ghana’
 
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13-Sep-2014  
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Education at the tertiary level has attracted a number of foreign students to both the public and private universities in the country.

Currently, there are 7,776 foreign students from about 30 African countries in the private universities and 1,766 from about 33 African countries in the public universities.

There are also 58 students from 10 European countries; 40 students from 13 Asian countries and 239 students from three North American countries currently accessing tertiary education in the country’s public universities.

In addition, there are five foreign students from three European countries; 15 from six Asian countries; 18 from four North American countries and one from Australia schooling in private universities in the country.

Currently, the country has 11 public universities, 60 private universities, 38 colleges of education and 10 polytechnics, totalling 133 accredited tertiary institutions.

Some of the countries

Some of the countries where the students are coming from include Pakistan; Cambodia, Canada, Australia; Romania; France; Bangladesh; Chech Republic; Switzaland; The Netherlands; Singapore, Mexico; Sweden and Finland.

Others are Malaysia; China; Lebanon; India; Angola; Burundi; Ethiopia; Malawi; Uganda; Kenya; Gambia; Egypt; Namibia; Syria and Liberia.

Endorsement

The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who disclosed this in an interview, said the figures were indicative of the international acclaim and massive endorsement which had been accorded tertiary education in Ghana.

He added that there were students from 58 countries in Ghanaian public universities and 45 in the private universities.

Mr Okudzeto-Ablakwa also said the ministry had received commendation from other countries about the excellent performance of Ghanaian students undertaking postgraduate and PhD programmes.

World Bank study

Referring to a World Bank study, Mr Okudzeto-Ablakwa announced that Ghana was ranked among the top three destinations so far as tertiary education was concerned, adding, “Interestingly, we are among the top five African countries that have their students studying abroad and it would interest you to note that our students do very well and excel.”

He also said the quality of the Ghanaian education was evident from the performance of its students since the country joined in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), adding that for three years running Ghanaian candidates topped in the WAEC Excellence Award.

Cheap education

He dismissed the assertion that the performance was because Ghana’s tertiary education was cheap, adding “I do not believe that our education is cheap because international students pay quite competitive fees. International students pay for tuition while their local counterparts don’t. Even those local students who are offering fee-paying programmes pay less, as compared to their foreign counterparts.”

“Also, I do not believe that all these students will travel that far just because of moderate or cheap fees. I also think that another point that is worth noting is that if the trend was emerging only in the public universities where the fees are relatively lower, then you could make that point, but the phenomenon is also very clear with private universities where their fees are not regulated in any way,” he pointed out.

Challenges

Touching on challenges, he admitted that the country had some challenges, citing the instance that the target of the country was to have 60 and 40 per cent of students in the science and humanities respectively, “but the reverse is the case currently. So there are some of these challenges that we are conscious of.”

He added that other issues included quality, cutting-edge solutions, how to make research grants available and even meeting some of the country’s own set norms such as student-lecturer ratio in some of the programmes offered.

“But I want us to look at these positive developments so that the vote of confidence that people are reposing in our system should be noted and spur us onto greater heights. We must know that our educational system is being watched by the international community; we must maintain high standards. Let it motivate us to even give of our best,” he stressed.
 
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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