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Draft Universities bill "dangerous" - Former Legon Vice-Chancellor

Prof Ivan Addae-Mensah, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon has said the new Universities Bill drafted by the Ministry of Education pending the approval of Parliament is "dangerous and unnecessary".

Matthew Opoku Prempeh

He said the bill will allow government through its councils to have power over who gets admission into public universities in the country.

"I think this bill is very dangerous and totally unnecessary. The constitution of Ghana seeks to protect tertiary institutions from government interference. If the bill says the President can appoint the Chancellor it means he can disappoint the Chancellor. In all, the President can appoint about 5 council members and that is dangerous.

"The bill has stated that if 5 council members out of the 9 meet to discuss some issues, the decision arrived at can take effect. This means that the 5 appointed by the president can sit and decide to overthrow the VC and that can happen. As a former VC and educationist, I just can’t understand what this whole bill is about. The Universities should be allowed to have their own laws governing them. The State shouldn’t give any legal guidelines. This bill is going to bring about micro-management of the Universities and that may render VC redundant," Prof Ivan Addae-Mensah said on Accra-based Starr FM.

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The bill has received some resistance from some stakeholders within the education sector and the Minority in parliament.

Some of the proposals in the Bill grant;

a) the President power to dissolve the University Council;

b) Allow the university Council to appoint a Chancellor and

c) Allow unions to appoint only one representative on a rotational system to serve on the Council at each cycle.

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Lecturer at the University of Ghana Professor Ransford Gyampo was the first to publicly oppose the bill.

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