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Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Founder of the National Cardiothoracic Centre at Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, has asked government not to deprive private universities of educational interventions since they also deserve such assistance.
He said interventions such as the Ghana Education Trust Fund, state scholarships and research grants as well as subsidies for infrastructure expansion, should be given to private universities which are playing equally critical roles in preparing the human capital needed for the development of the country.
“As at now a large number of students study in private universities and they also deserve to benefit from education grants, subsidies, scholarships and other facilities that are financed by taxes paid by their parents and guardians,” he said.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Regent University of Science and Technology in Accra, Prof Frimpong-Boateng said both private and public universities could be described as not-for-profit institutions in that they both reinvest their profits into the activities of the institutions to serve the public interest.
The year-long anniversary celebrations would be celebrated on the theme: “Raising Change Agent through Holistic Education,” would feature events like lectures and panel discussions on topics including; Ghana’s search for Industrialisation; Christianity and Development in Contemporary African Society; and the Challenges in funding Private Universities in Ghana.
It would also witness a musical extravaganza and praise and thanksgiving services.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng who spoke on: “Funding Private Universities in Ghana: Challenges and Opportunities,” congratulated Regent University for bracing the economic difficulties and becoming a pillar in providing tertiary education in science and technology.
He, however, urged governments, especially those in developing countries to consider all universities, both public and private, as public good that have to be supported in equal measure.
He said government could also help private universities to thrive by abolishing the corporate tax that it wants private universities to pay as well as waiving all taxes on inputs required for teaching, learning and innovation materials imported for infrastructural development.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng appealed to the National Accreditation Board and mentoring institutions to reduce the fees they charge the private institutions since that is having a serious dent into the finances of these academic entities.
To the private universities, the Professor, advised them to step up efforts to improve their fundraising infrastructure to enable them secure donations from Alumni, organisations and businesses to help develop their institutions.
“Private universities should work diligently to uphold and strengthen their image and also engage in programmes that will shape the national dialogue on the contributions of private universities in national development,” he said.
The Reverend Prof Emmanuel Kwabena Larbi, Founder and President of the Regent University of Science and Technology, said the institution that started its pilot classes in January 2005, as the first private science and technology university operating within four satellite campuses has now moved into its main campus at McCarthy Hill on the main Kasoa road, near the Weija Dam.
He said Regent could also pride itself as the first University in the country to mount a master’s programme in technical computer science and for mounting the first-ever MBA in Ghana accredited by the Association of MBAs.
He announced that the University would commence a Doctor of Business Administration programme in conjunction with Maastricht School of Management this September.
Prof Larbi also reiterated the need to put the funding of private university at the centre of state affairs and not at the periphery.
“A well-resourced private university can bring a revolution in the tertiary education system in our country. This will directly affect the development of the nation,” he said.
To mark the inauguration of the anniversary, Regent University donated textbooks to various schools including St Mary’s Senior High School, Accra Academy SHS, Accra High SHS, Odorgonno SHS, in the Greater Accra Region and the Suhum Presbyterian Technical SHS, the Methodist Junior High School at Larteh and Adimadim Kyeku Larbi DA Primary School, all in the Eastern Region.