SPEECH BY DR. OSEI K. DARKWA, PRESIDENT, GHANA TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY COLLEGE AT THE 14TH CONGREGATION CEREMONY ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 06, 2016
GTUC Council Members Present
Our Guest Speaker, Mr. Kofi Dadzie, CEO Rancard Solutions
Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, Coventry University, UK, Dr. Andrew Turner
Representative from Staffordshire University, UK, Dr. Neil Hart
GTUC Faculty and Staff present,
Proud Family members and Friends of Graduands,
Friends from the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great honour to welcome all of you to the 14th Congregation of Ghana Technology University College.
I wish to extend a special hand of welcome to our Guest Speaker, Mr. Kofi Dadzie, representatives of our partner institutions, graduates, and everyone gathered here to grace the occasion. We are greatly honoured by your presence.
May I also extend a hand of welcome to our graduands who having gone through the stipulated period of their studies and satisfied the conditions for graduation at the masters level and are gathered here to receive their honours.
Dear Graduands, it has been months of hard work and perseverance. Today we are all gathered here to witness and recognize these long months of hard work.
This year’s congregation is made even more special as we mark a decade of the University. GTUC is 10 years this month (August 2016) and a week-long programme has been outlined for the celebration from 12th – 18th September. The theme chosen for the anniversary is “Connecting the Dots”. We want to recount how far God Almighty has brought us and also chart a new course for our collective future.
We celebrate this milestone fully aware of our humble beginnings ten years ago. We also take immense pride in the hard work and dedication we have put into the last ten years which accounts for our current rank as number 1 private University and number 4 tertiary in the country. But most importantly, our celebration fills us with hope and perseverance. Our spirit and energies have been reborn and revived and we look forward to the next ten years as our opportunity to continue to write our name in the history of Ghana's tertiary education space. It is also an opportunity to keep on delivering excellent and world class education to Ghana and the sub region.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Congregation is usually a special occasion in the life of a University. It is a joyous occasion especially for graduands and their relatives; having worked hard and persevered for several years and are deservedly being awarded with their honours. For the University, it is a time for self-assessment and self-renewal; a time for the University to reflect on its mission and vision and to take stock and report to its stakeholders and the general public at large on its achievements and challenges.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, permit me at this point to present a few highlights about GTUC over the period and articulate some of the concerns of the University College.
Delivery of Quality Technology Oriented Education
GTUC is mindful of its unique role and the challenges it faces in its efforts to deliver quality technology education for knowledge development and innovation in this country. The increased student numbers for access to tertiary education puts a lot of pressure on public universities hence the need for private participation. To compliment government efforts, GTUC 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 Nigeria.
The University has over the years been increasing enrolments to enable it turn out as IT and Business professionals fit for the job market and continues to give learning opportunities to individuals to upgrade themselves to provide quality technology oriented education. The deliveries of these specialized courses are through the Centre for Professional Development (CPD) and the Centre for Technical Education and Training (CTET).
Resourcing the University College
As part of efforts to enable the University respond to new challenges and achieve its developmental goals, a lot of restructuring has been undertaken during the year.
Part of the restructuring is the recruitment of new faculty members, the introduction of new degree programmes in Solar Engineering with Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and a new partnership agreement with the University of the West of Scotland to run Masters Degrees in Project Management and Quality Management. Additionally, we are beginning 2 professional programmes, namely, ACCA and CILT. We are also pursuing the construction of additional lecture hall spaces and offices for our lecturers.
Collaboration and Partnership
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, the University continues to consolidate partnership programmes with a number of national and International institutions as a way of building capacity and making its programmes relevant and in tune with both internal and global developments. The major ones are the following:
These partnerships and the programmes that it has spawned have helped identify and define our brand over the last ten years and we are grateful to our partners for the hand of collaboration and support they have extended in the last decade.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to acknowledge with gratitude the support the university has received from other individuals and organizations. I cannot mention all of them but I will like to single out the following for special gratitude.
Appreciation to Staff
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I will like to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifice of our hardworking academic and administrative staff who have offered their service with commitment and resilience in spite of the challenges we face. You are the real unseen heroes of the higher education system.
Word to Graduates
To my dear graduands, take a cue from and be guided by the University’s crest. The principal motif of the University crest, the Adinkra symbol ‘Nea onnim no sua a, ohu’ is a Ghanaian Cultural Symbol, that explains the need for constant knowledge acquisition as the essential ingredient of education. “Knowledge comes from learning”. This is a traditional African symbol representing knowledge, life-long education and continued quest for new ideas.
I entreat you to always remember that the essence of the message to you today is to go into the corners of this country to inspire and motivate. Your dedication and commitment to whatever you find yourselves doing after acquiring additional knowledge is very important since it is your contribution to the development of Ghana. You have gone through a period of training that qualifies you to be awarded a certificate. Note that the completion of your programme marks the beginning of your service to the nation and to humanity. We believe that graduates from GTUC can achieve excellence through hard work and service to others as represented in our core values. It is these virtues we have tried to inculcate in you during your period of study here at GTUC.
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.
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 and hostel project. As we celebrate the past ten years, we entreat government, philanthropists, corporate bodies and individuals to contribute in cash and kind to the completion of these projects so we can place GTUC on the pedestal it deserves.
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. I extend a personal invitation to all of you to visit at alumni.gtuc.edu.gh right from this function and get involve with building GTUC up to the alma mater you will be proud of.
On behalf of the University and on my own behalf, I congratulate all of you.