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UTAG reacts to UniMAC Vice Chancellor over comments on Book and Research Allowance

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has conveyed its disappointment with Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Media, Arts, and Communication (UniMAC), for remarks made regarding Book and Research Allowances (BRA) provided to teachers.

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Professor Kwansah-Aidoo, speaking at a public lecture organized by the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the money disbursed as Book and Research Allowances within academia.

UTAG finds the comments disheartening, considering the significance of these allowances in supporting research and academic activities.

“The way we fund academic research can be done better, and I think instead of giving money to people at the end of the year, it should be made so that people apply for some money to use for specific research. And then they must show the outcome of the research through publications and reports so that there’s enough accountability in the money received.”

“For now, we get the money, and I don’t even know what we do with it. We still publish, but in some way, some people sit there for 3 years, and they haven’t published [anything]. They have received Book and Research Allowances for 3 years, so where’s the money gone to?” he asked.

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Nevertheless, in a statement released on February 3, 2024, UTAG responded strongly to the remarks made by the Vice Chancellor of UniMAC, characterizing his comments as 'condescending' and 'distasteful.'

“It is disheartening to note that such significant remarks were made with a limited understanding of what the BRA is used for. We find his comments as coming from a place of disdain and a depiction of a long-standing culture of some academics climbing to the top and turning back to remove the very ladder that led them there. His statement that he does not know what academics do with the BRA is condescending, distasteful, and pretentious, to say the least.”

UTAG rejected the assertions made by the Vice Chancellor of UniMAC, countering that their research endeavors not only result in scholarly publications but also significantly contribute to pedagogics in lecture rooms and make a broader impact on society.

“To set the record straight, the BRA has been a crucial component in supporting the academic pursuits and professional development of our members, fostering a culture of research excellence within our university communities. Our research activities do not only end up in scholarly publications as purported by the Vice Chancellor. They also end up enhancing the pedagogics in the lecture rooms and a broader contribution to society. This is why the Union has always stated that the BRA has not been sufficient in delivering the core of research and book purchases,” UTAG said in its statement.

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