SPEECH BY DR. OSEI K. DARKWA, PRESIDENT, GHANA TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY COLLEGE AT THE 9TH CONGREGATION CEREMONY ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2014.
GTUC Council Members Present
Our Guest Speaker
Pro VC KNUST, Prof. Samuel Nii Odoi, Pro VC International Development Coventry University, UK, Mr. John Quirk, Dean, Anhalt University, Germany, Prof. Dr. Dr. Habil Joerg Flemmig and President CASS Europe, Prof. Sam Dzever
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, almost 479 graduates will be receiving various awards for pursuing four year undergraduate programmes. In addition there are about 191 graduates who have pursued one and two year graduate programmes at the Masters level. The graduates are composed of undergraduates for programmes the we run in collaboration with KNUST and graduate programmes we run in collaboration with KNUST, Coventry University, UK, Anhalt University, Germany and CASS, Europe.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, to everything there is a time and a season. The journey for these graduates who pursued our undergraduate and 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, every University has three main purposes 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 earlier this year, 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 embarking on a process of selecting viable projects in the areas of technology, information technology and engineering that have been submitted during a recent technology workshops held across the country. Selected projects will be funded by the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) through the Skills Development Fund (SDF).
To demonstrate our commitment to research for social development and change, Ghana Techology University College(GTUC) has embarked on the development of a solar project. The project which is funded by Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training(COTVET) through the Skills Development Fund(SDF), is expected to bring industry players in the energy sector together, develop curriculum for training in Solar PV systems and train individuals in the area of building,maintaining and ensuring the effective and efficient use of solar systems in Ghana. I am happy to say GTUC recently won the Europe Business Assembly Award for this project.
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, within the last month GTUC launched its new identity. We now have a reinvigorated, reenergized and a rebranded GTUC. Our University College has expanded both in infrastructure and programme offerings in the past eight years. We are no longer limited to the delivery of telecommunications related programmes, we have introduced cutting edge programmes in IT, Business, Management, Education and a host of other programmes etc. The rolling out of these new programmes coupled with our drive to morph GTUC into a sub-regional centre of excellence in Technology education calls for a change in the look, feel and direction of the University College.
The change was also an expression of our growth in diversity, change, and an expanded vision.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, our new brand which is embodied in the introduction of our new logo, and our five core values which are:
My hope and expectation is that in the coming year, our stakeholders will experience GTUC as we count to living these values through our work ethic.
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, we all need to be part of this celebration of our graduates and to share in their joy and happiness. 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.
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 much greater because your contributions will help make our society better.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, today is a memorable day for our graduate and for us also to celebrate the achievements of the University College within the last eight years. Ghana Technology University College has potential and I am very optimistic about the future.
However, there is a challenge. Several initiatives, projects and programmes have been hampered due to lack of funds. Worthy of mention are the library, laboratories, hostel just mention a few.
To step up our fund raising efforts, the University College has embarked 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 and register right from this function.
On behalf of the University and on my own behalf, I congratulate all of you.