Former President John Mahama has urged government to desist from interfering with the management of universities in the country.
According to him, the executive has no business directing universities and their councils how to manage their affairs.
Voicing his opposition to the Public Universities Bill intended by the government, the NDC flagbearer for the 2020 polls said every university should be governed by its own unique Act.
“Every university based on its diversity and what its objectives are must have its separate Act… if there are issues with the Act [that established a university], we can amend the Act for that particular university.
“if the University Council feels that the work of the Vice-Chancellor is not up to standard, it is the duty of the University Council to take action; it is not the duty of the government to attempt to remove the Vice-Chancellor,” he noted at a meeting with executives of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) Monday.
The New Public Universities Bill has been rejected by some professors and former Vice Chancellors stating that the bill is an attempt by government to control the universities. They also claim that the bill takes away academic freedom.
The Kumasi meeting discussed many topical issues including remuneration, steps towards the introduction of sustainable grants for research and graduate education, the management of utilities on campus, the infrastructure deficit in the universities and the role universities can play in managing the unemployment challenge facing Ghana and other African countries.
The discussions form part of the NDC and John Mahama’s engagement with stakeholders and key groupings ahead of the 2020 general elections. According to President Mahama, the interactions are aimed at sharing ideas, listening to the concerns and expectations of the various groupings to shape the party’s manifesto for 2020.
The outgoing President of UTAG, Dr. Eric Opoku, thanked President Mahama for responding to the invitation and expressed the desire that there will be more of such interactions even after he assumes the presidency.
Mr. Mahama was accompanied by Professor Joshua Alabi, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra, NDC Chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Ashanti Regional Chairman Nana Kwasi and Dr. Callistus Mahama.