The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana says intake of foreign students into universities in the country have been affected by media reportage of suicide cases.
Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu said sensational headlines by both print and electronic media outlets about suicide cases on university campuses have driven away foreign students from applying.
Speaking to Adom News ahead of the 14th General Conference and Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Association of African Universities (AAU), he said the development has affected the image of universities in the country.
“When the international students read such sensational stories on the internet about Ghana’s universities, they don’t even apply to study in the country which is not healthy for the nation,” he said.
The comment of University of Ghana Vice Chancellor follows recent spate of suicide cases at the school and Kwame NKrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Late Jennifer Nyarko
A Consumer Science student at University of Ghana, Jennifer Nyarko, was found dead after she allegedly jumped from the fourth floor of the Akuafo Hall Annex A.
Days earlier, a first-year Chemical Engineering student at KNUST, Adwoa Agyarka Anyimadu-Antwi, allegedly committed suicide over her academic performance
Unconfirmed reports said she failed some of her course papers and has since not been able to cope with what she believed was a shame to herself and to the family.
Late Adwoa Agyarka Anyimadu-Antwi
These suicide cases and others were reported widely by the media in the country, but Prof Oduro said the sensational nature of the stories have impacted negatively on university intake of foreign students.
“The media like sensationalism but they must also report good stories about the universities in the country to sell our great heritage as a country,” he said.
He appealed to the media to be cautious with their reportage on suicide cases and to try at all times to project the good news about the nation’s universities.
Prof. Oduro Owusu also called on African leaders to invest more in the educational sector to speed up the development of the continent.
Meanwhile, Board Member of AAU, Prof Domwini Dabire Kuupole, is urging the Polytechnics that were recently converted to Technical universities by the past government to focus on their mandates.
He said they should concentrate on giving their students skills that will help reduce graduate unemployment in the country.
The AAU at 50 celebration is under the theme, “Achievements, challenges and Prospects for Sustainable Development in Africa.”