SPEECH BY DR. OSEI K. DARKWA, PRESIDENT, GHANA TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY COLLEGE AT THE 10TH CONGREGATION CEREMONY ON SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2015.
GTUC Council Members Present
Our Guest Speaker
Pro VC International Development Coventry University, UK, Mr. John Quirk, Dean, Anhalt University, Germany, Prof. Dr. Cornelia Scott and Dean, CASS Europe, Prof. Alan Hoyois
Distinguished Guests GTUC Faculty and Staff present, Proud Family members Friends of Graduands, Graduands,
Friends from the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the University College and myself, I wish to welcome you all to this prestigious occasion and, secondly to congratulate our graduands for working so hard to this point to reap the fruits of your labour. As a University, it is our responsibility to help build the nation’s human capital through the training of highly skilled manpower. As the President of the institution, I cannot help but feel a sense of pride as we turn out these knowledgeable young men and women who we expect to positively impact the corporate world, academia and Industry.
Today, there are about 310 graduates who have pursued one and two year graduate programmes at the Masters level. The graduates are composed of graduate of programmes we run in collaboration with Coventry University, UK, CASS, Europe and Anhalt University, Germany.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, to everything there is a time and a season. The journey for these graduates who pursued our graduate programmes has finally ended. The much awaited day has finally come, and it should be one of celebration and not long speeches. But, permit me to share a few thoughts with you.
Eight years after attaining accreditation, the university college has moved from a modest, humble and challenging beginning and, is now well positioned as a college of quality and distinction, offering professional development programmes and quality tertiary education to over five thousand students. The University continues to be a self-financing institution through internally generated funds and funds accessed in the form of grants from donors and stakeholder organisations.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, to advance the course of delivering quality technology education, GTUC is determined to consolidate existing partnerships with institutions in countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, India, China, the United States and South Africa.
Within the region, we have academic and training partners in countries such as Benin, Kenya, the Republic of Gabon, Nigeria and Togo. The University College is also committed to establishing partnerships with academic and industrial partners from various parts of the world to enhance the delivery of quality education.
Through collaborations and partnerships such as these, we have been able to build the capacity of our staff and faculty, brought cutting edge undergraduate and post-graduate programmes to the people of Ghana, introduced highly advanced and innovative educational technologies within our institution, implemented new educational models, and exchanged experiences and best practices.
GTUC NETWORKED CENTRES
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, GTUC is committed to making quality technology inspired education accessible. To this end, it has established network campuses in five out of ten regions in Ghana which is fifty percent coverage. The University College has also established sub-regional learning centres in Togo and Gabon.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, within the period under review, the University has established key centres and units to support teaching, learning and research.
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, permit me to re-echo the three main purposes of every University which are teaching and learning, public service and research. In this vein, GTUC has established the Office of Research Service and Innovation (ORSI) which is currently embarking on research which is the life blood of every institution.
Established early part of 2014, ORSI is committed to being a sub-regional centre of excellence in technology, research and transformational innovation. It is expected that ORSI becomes a cradle of cutting-edge research and innovation that will promote world class research into technology.
Currently, the centre is in collaborating with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Meraka Institute, South Africa to undertake a project on TV White Spaces. The Project seeks to provide broadband accessibility using spectrum in vacant TV frequencies (referred to as TV White Space). This revolutionary TV White Space technology provides superior coverage, wide network range, and non-line-of-sight signal. TV White Space network has the ability to penetrate foliage, hills, and other barriers while covering an area about 10 kilometers in diameter utilizing minimal equipment and infrastructure. Indeed this is a useful project and will be piloted with five (5) Senior High Schools and two GTUC campuses to test the accessibility of broadband using the TV White Space Technologies.
These efforts are a testament to our commitment to research for social development and change in Ghana and the sub-region.
CENTRE FOR TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (CTET)
At GTUC, we recognise that not everyone will end up in university. We also know that there is a huge skills development gap in the area of artisanship. The establishment of the Centre for Technical Education and Training is a response to this need. The centre offers 3-month Accelerated Certificate Programmes in
These programmes seek to equip students with relevant practical skills which are key to current technological trends and advancements, thus making them employable and marketable.
These programmes are also ideal for self-starters who are looking for employable skills to start their own businesses.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, to increase our presence and enrollment, the University College within a period of seven years has established campuses at Tesano, Abeka and Kumasi, and learning centres at Ho, Koforidua, Takoradi and Nungua. These efforts are geared towards bringing quality technology education to the doorstep of Ghanaians and the sub-region. Our students no longer need to come to the mother campus to access a GTUC education.
As we might all be aware, the current backlog of students waiting to enter into tertiary institutions is overwhelming. This calls for Public Private Partnership by institutions such as GTUC to support government in the training of the human resource in the delivery of quality tertiary education to augment the number of public universities in Ghana.
To demonstrate our commitment to this call, GTUC has put in place the following measures:
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, today marks an important day in the lives of our graduates – yet, it is a beginning of a journey.
To get to this point was an important achievement in itself for which I commend you. The personal competencies that got you here – passion, commitment, and tenacity will open your minds to learn throughout your lives. Nurture them because they will be even more important than what you have learnt at GTUC.
Graduates, as we celebrate with you, it is also worthy to acknowledge the contributions of all the other stakeholders of this University College; the faculty, our partners, administrative and support staff who have made this day a reality for you.
You all deserve congratulations on your academic achievements. Even though you are graduating from this great institution, your training here at GTUC has given you knowledge and molded your perception about life and its experiences and we have every confidence that this training will be put to excellent use.
Knowledge and understanding are key elements in the life of every individual, and opportunities to acquire these virtues should not be ignored. GTUC therefore invites all of you to its exciting, rewarding and industry relevant programmes from certificate to doctoral programmes.
As graduates of this University College, we formally introduce you to the world to serve as ambassadors of this special community. We present you to the corporate world to announce your readiness to serve, readiness to face challenges and your preparedness to impact the world.
GTUC has exposed you to a lot in terms of content and experience. You have added value to yourselves and therefore much is expected of you. It is incumbent on you to deliver wherever you go per the training you have received in your respective programmes of study. This is the time to contribute meaningfully to the development of our society and Ghana as a whole and make GTUC proud.
Albert Einstein once said, “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible”. Pursue your dreams no matter how weird they might seem to others. Commit to your vision and the drive to succeed. You shall surely make it.
The world you inherit presents you with great challenges. We are agents of change, whether we want it or not. You have the greatest opportunity in generations: to be the architects and builders of a new world. You belong to a small group who have been equipped to take up this daunting role. You may exercise it wherever you stand but it goes beyond having a job in a company or any other organization. It means responsibility to society. You will not just be a part of a big machine, but will be a node in a vibrant network of engaged individuals.
Your status in society has changed; opportunities will come to you and we urge you to take advantage and make a difference. The society’s expectation will be greater and we challenge you to rise to the occasion.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Ghana Technology University College has potential and I am very optimistic about the future. However, there are few challenges. Several initiatives, projects and programmes have been hampered due to lack of funds. Worthy of mention are the library, laboratories, hostel project, just to mention a few.
To step up our fund raising efforts, the University College is embarking on a fundraising campaign to support its programmes and projects. The Campaign targets individuals, corporate organisations and philanthropists who will donate to this worthy cause.
There is the need to raise funds to expand our programmes and projects. Funds to improve on our physical presence in terms of infrastructure and the quality of service. I therefore use this opportunity to solicit for support from individuals, Corporate Ghana and philanthropists to be able to deliver on pending projects and programmes.
Graduates, please don’t forget your alma mater when the good times come, as they will. Contribute substantially in kind and in cash so this institution can continue to evolve into one you can be proud of. I extend a personal invitation to all of you to register online at Alumnee.in/gtuc on our alumni portal right from this function.
On behalf of the University and on my own behalf, I congratulate all of you.