Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Sept 13, GNA - Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has called on the University’s Alumni to support the VC's Endowment Fund project.
The project dubbed: “VC’s Endowment Fund” (VCEF) seeks to identify and support bright and financially–challenged Ghanaians who desire an opportunity to undertake tertiary education at UPSA.
It is an investment fund established for receiving third party donations as well as contributions from the University, with the purpose of generating income for scholarships.
Prof Amartey made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, on the side-lines of ‘VCEF Cocktail Evening with Alumni and Friends of UPSA’.
The event aimed at strengthening relationship between the University and the Alumni, with much emphasises on helping to scale up scholarships for needy students.
It also provided the platform for Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) Alumni and UPSA Alumni to socialise; expose UPSA’s business development centre; and as well expose its ultra modern auditorium.
Prof Amartey noted that the University’s two Alumni groups had combined effectively to support the School’s transformational agenda, but aside developing infrastructure, there was the issue of helping brilliant but needy students, for which they were expected to help.
“We have about 14,000 students and scholarships are being given to only 20 people, we could do more, so we want to appeal to all stakeholders especially Alumni to help us educate the young ones”, he added.
Prof Amartey noted that UPSA introduced an initiative christened ‘Dual Qualification, which means aside the usual degree programmes, students were compulsorily required to take a professional programme in whether, Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCS) or Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA); and there again Alumni could help.
The VC, who said the Alumni had the experience, added that “they can offer their services in that area”.
Prof Amartey said Management of the University was also interested in seeking internship opportunities for their students, saying, "generally one of the complaints was the unpreparedness of modern graduates for the job market, as they lacked experience".
He said, one of the key ways of solving the challenge, was through internship and that the Alumni was capable of helping to achieve this objective.
Dr Albert Martins, Chairman of the Planning Committee underscored the need to establish and deepen relationship with partners.
He said UPSA’s mission was to establish a world class University of higher education, which was nationally entrenched, regionally relevant and globally recognised.
“We cannot do this by ourselves so there is a need to engage with partners to ensure we run this University together," he said.
He said every year about 1,350 students who qualified to enter UPSA were not able do so due to financial challenges, whereas, the University received 1,450 applications for financial assistance each year.
Dr Martins said what was equally worrying was that about 300 students fell out or deferred their studies at UPSA for lack of financial support, hence the need to provide for needy students.
The VCEF, which was launched on 19th of October, 2017, is targeting a seed amount of one hundred million Ghana Cedis within five years.
The VC is responsible for the overall management of the VCEF under guidelines set by the University Council in accordance with generally accepted accounting and investment principles.
The VC delegates authority and responsibilities to the VCEF Board of Trustees composed of academic, financial, management and legal experts appointed from outside the University.
The two committees, the Fundraising and Scholarship Awards Committees, as well as an appointed fund manager report to the VCEF Board of Trustees.