A total of 2,214 students who pursued various post-graduate programmes at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) graduated at the 49th congregation on Saturday. They included 51, PhD, 266 MPhil, and 1,719 MBA, MSc, MEd, MA as well as Post-Graduate Diploma and Post Graduate Certificate in various disciplines including nursing.
Addressing the congregation, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah said graduate education continued to be the focus of UCC both in the medium and long terms.
In this regard, he said the university would continue to churn out graduate students with strong ethics and commitment to society. He said UCC School of Graduate Studies (SGS) had over the years sought to ensure the relevance of graduate programmes to socio-economic and technological development of the country and the sub-Region. Prof Ghartey Ampiah said UCC would continue to chart innovative paths in responding to national needs through effective teaching, research and community engagement.
The Vice Chancellor announced that, subject to approval by the Academic Board, the university would introduce dual degree programmes and article-based thesis to provide flexibility for research and to catch up with international trends in expanding acknowledge. He said postgraduate enrollment was shifting from the regular mode to sandwich and distance and indicated that the university would re-position itself to meet the shift in demand for graduate education.
He assured that the university would intensify its engagement with industry for funding research projects and also for practical training of its students. Professor Mohammed Salifu, Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) commended UCC for the efforts in churning out quality graduate students. He challenged UCC and other universities in the country to intensify their activities to ensure that tertiary education remained relevant by widening their scope to solve critical needs of the nation.
Prof Salifu said as Ghana was gradually heading towards a middle income country, its universities must also aspire to become world class research institutions. He said conscious efforts must be made to address the postgraduate gap at the universities to be able to achieve that. He noted that a chunk of undergraduate students were not pursuing postgraduate programmes and that should be a source of worry to the universities.
The Chancellor Dr Sam Esson Jonah underscored the importance of graduate studies to national development as its academic research activities provided crucial support for the national innovation system. He was convinced that UCC graduate school would continue to foster conducive environment for critical, curious, creative and courageous graduates to find answers to the significant development challenges confronting the nation.
He urged the graduates to consider investing in agriculture if they thought of becoming entrepreneurs adding that “Agriculture is one area Ghanaians have failed to invest into on full scale”. He further admonished them to find more innovative ways of doing business and using the knowledge and skills acquired to impact on society.