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Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah
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Public and private universities have been directed to desist from offering admission to unqualified applicants to pursue academic programmes.

The Ministry of Education that gave the directive asked the universities that had admitted such students to withdraw them immediately or face sanctions after they had been identified or found.

The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, who gave the directive in Accra yesterday, said the National Accreditation Board (NAB) had been asked to immediately embark on an audit of the universities to ensure that they complied with the academic standards that had been set for them.

Minimum requirement

According to the standards set by the NAB, the minimum requirement to qualify an applicant to gain admission to a university in the country to pursue an academic programme was C6.

A candidate is required to get at least credits (A1 - C6 in WASSCE and A – D in SSSCE) in English, Core Mathematics and Integrated Science (for Science applicants) or Social Studies (for non-Science applicants) and three elective subjects, with the total aggregate not exceeding 24.

A candidate with D7 and below is not qualified to be admitted to any university in the country.

However, information available to the Ministry of Education indicates that there are cases where candidates are admitted with grades lower than D7 under the guise that they would be made to re-sit the exams to better their results.

Unqualified candidates

According to Prof. Yankah, the ministry had received complaints from both parents and remedial schools that some universities were admitting students without the minimum qualifications.

“So it is rather disturbing to hear of allegations that universities, both private and public, may be flouting the regulations and I, sitting here, will take it seriously,” he said.

He, therefore, directed that any university involved in such admissions to immediately withdraw the candidates so that standards were not compromised.

Ghanaian certificates

Professor Yankah said certificates from Ghanaian institutions were highly respected in the West African sub-region and beyond and there was, therefore, the need to “jealously guard the integrity of our certificates”.

“It will be unfortunate if our standards of education fall to the level where holding a degree from a university in Ghana is no longer accepted in the sub-region and beyond,” he said.

He said the NAB and the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) had worked over the years to ensure that every university had a quality assurance office which ensured that quality was not compromised.

“One would expect the quality assurance offices to be the first to complain about non-compliance on the part of their respective institutions. But if this is happening within the universities, it means their quality offices are failing. It means leadership in the various universities is failing to exercise its watchdog responsibilities,” he said.

He said it was unacceptable for any university to admit unqualified students in order to take them through remedial classes to better their grades before they got to the final year.

Such arrangements, Prof. Yankah said, should be cleared with the NAB, since they were illegal, adding: “The regulation is, simply, ‘don’t admit any students for a programme without the basic entry requirement’.”

He said the regulations covered those offering regular university programmes or undertaking distance education programmes, since both categories received similar degrees.

Prof. Yankah warned against candidates without the minimum requirement hiding behind distance education to acquire university education.

Clamp down

He directed the NAB to clamp down on any university that would be found to be involved in admitting unqualified candidates after the auditing.

The Executive Secretary of the NAB, Mr Kwame Dattey, said any university that might be found to have offered admission to unqualified candidates would be deemed to have infringed on the regulations of the NAB and would be sanctioned.
Source: Daily Graphic

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