Wa, Sept 10, GNA - The University for
Development Studies (UDS) central administration has been accused of
“sabotaging” the Wa campus from gaining an autonomous status by introducing
parallel programmes and departments to weaken its base.
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Upper West Region who levelled the accusation has therefore appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to fast-track in giving assent to the Wa campus autonomy bill for full operations.
Co- Convener of the Coalition Mr Tahiru Lukman who made the accusation in a news conference on Monday said UDS management was introducing rival departments and programmes in Tamale and also re-issuing new admissions from Wa Campus to Tamale and Nyankpala campuses.
But, when Ghana News Agency contacted the UDS Public Relations office on Tuesday, the Officer who pleaded anonymity said “management of the University has not officially mandated” them to react to the matter and would therefore not comment for now.
The Coalition also blamed political actors in the region of neglect and allowing only the youth, landlords and traditional rulers to be at the forefront of struggling for the independence of the University for the region.
President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the separation of Wa Campus of UDS on 10th November, 2018 and early this year (2019) renamed it as “SD-Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SD-Dombo UBIDS).
SD-Dombo UBIDS Bill was subsequently laid in parliament for ratification. The Ministry of Education provided leadership and support to the autonomy status till its maturity on 14th August, 2019.
“Minister of Education, while conveying to you our tremendous gratitude from the people of the Upper West Region, we wish to still plead for your assistance to use your good office to facilitate the Presidential assent to the Bill,” Mr Lukeman said.
He called for the setting up and appointment of an interim council members as required by the transitional provisions of the Bill when presidential assent was granted.
The Integrated Development Studies component of UDS mandate, he said,was ceded to the Wa Campus, however, programmes of Faculty for Integrated Development Studies (FIDS) in Wa Campus were being moved out of the Campus.
“The proposed re-alignment of the UDS in particular, instead of strengthening the institution, is tacitly dismembering and mutilating the Wa Campus of the UDS and moving its programmes to Tamale campus without the mandate to run those programmes as stated by the Act,” he said.
According to Mr Lukeman, due to the creation of parallel faculties, departments and programmes, students’ population of Wa Campus dropped from over 12,000 in 2013 to less than 7,000 this year.
“We therefore wish to appeal to you (President Akufo-Addo) to have the Wa Campus of the University autonomy Bill assented as promised the people of the Upper West region to enhance development,” he said.
Mr Alhassan Sharifdeen, a past student of UDS and a coalition member, told the GNA even the university was established as a pro-poor institution, but due to the rising school fees many people in the North could not access the higher education.
He said fees for postgraduate courses jumped from GH¢ 7,000.00 for 2019/2020 academic year from GH¢ 3,500.00 and called for government intervention to help many poor people gain access to postgraduate education.