Admission crisis: As thousands scramble for limited vacancies
More than half of the 92,500 applicants from the two streams of senior high school (SHS) graduates seeking admission to three public universities this academic year were unsuccessful.
The institutions are: The University of Ghana, Legon; The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi and the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS).
The University of Ghana received 48,000 applications but could admit only 17,000, while the UHAS could admit only 400 out of 2,500 applicants.
The KNUST received 42,000 applications but could only admit 10,000.
University of Ghana
Last year, the University of Ghana received 26,000 applications. At the end of the day, it offered admission to 17,000 but only 53 per cent of the applicants accepted the offer.
The Director of Academic Affairs of the University of Ghana, Mr Enoch A. Amartey, who made this known to the Daily Graphic, said the 17,000 applicants who would be admitted this year comprised both fee-paying and non-fee paying students.
He said the number was what the university could admit in order not to overburden its facilities and infrastructure.
According to him, the university hoped that 70 per cent of the 17,000 applicants would accept the offers given them and that those who had been admitted had been notified through text messages and emails.
He added that the admission list had been published on the university’s website.
On a visit to the University of Ghana last Thursday, our reporters saw some students and parents queuing at the registry to finalise their admission and registration processes.
Some of the prospective students and their parents told the Daily Graphic that they were at the registry to seek assistance on the registration formalities. Others also said they could not complete their registration online so they were there to seek assistance for the registration.
Three of the prospective students: Seth Martins, Kissi Asamoah and Ms Mavis Kumi, said they were at the registry to complete their registration because they had difficulty doing so online.
They said although they had waited for the mandatory 48 hours to elapse after the payment of fees, as stipulated in the registration process, they could not complete the process.
The KNUST Registrar, Mr Kobby Yebo-Okrah, told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi that admission of applicants to the university was expected to end this week.
According to him, everything was being done to ensure that the process was successful.
He could not tell the number of students admitted so far, since the process was ongoing, but indicated that the university had not put a ceiling on vacancies available for WASSCE candidates.
‘We are admitting applicants based on the facilities available and, of course, their results in the WASSCE,’ he said.
At the special congregation for the School of Graduate Studies and the Institute of Distance Learning at the Great Hall of KNUST late September, this year, the Chancellor of the KNUST, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, hinted of a looming admission crisis at the university.
He indicated that the university would not be able to admit even a quarter of the applicants for the academic year and explained that the situation stemmed from the large number of applications received due to the three streams of students ( four-year SHS, three-year SHS and November/December ) who were vying for limited vacancies.
The government allocated GH¢7 million to public tertiary institutions to expand their student intake capacity for the 2013-2014 academic year.
A deputy minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Institutions, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, made this known at a consultative meeting with the vice-chancellors of public universities and rectors of polytechnics in Accra yesterday.
The stakeholders agreed that the intake of students to tertiary institutions this year should be increased to accommodate the huge number of students who completed SHS this year.
University of Health and Allied Sciences
The 400 applicants admitted into the University of Health and Allied Sciences will pursue degree programmes in the schools of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Allied Health Sciences and Public Health.
According to the registrar of the university, Mr Kofi Siabi-Mensah 2,500 applications were received out which 1500 qualified to be admitted but as a result of inadequate classrooms and accommodation, the university could only admit 400.
He said that the university was very happy about the quality of applicants; a good number of whom had aggregate 18 from their six best subjects.
‘We had the intention to admit 500 students but unfortunately we are unable to do so due to limited lecture rooms and accommodation for the first year students who may have travelled from all over the country to attend school’, he explained.
He was however satisfied that from a total of 154 students admitted last year, the university had now offered admission to 400 students this year.
With regard to staff strength, Mr Siabi-Mensah gave the assurance that they had enough staff for the various departments, adding that in the event of any challenge, the University of Ghana with whom they had a special relationship would be there to provide support.
Mr Siabi-Mensah also said second-year students of the School of Public Health would move to the Hohoe Campus by the end of the first semester.
The UHAS was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 828 of December, 2011) as a public university in Ghana.
It was a fulfilled manifesto promise by then candidate John Evans Attah Mills.The main campus, including the central administration is in Ho while a second campus at Hohoe.
By Emmanuel Bonney, Kwame Asare Boadu & Victor Kwawukume/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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