In a bid fulfil their 2012 manifesto promise of converting polytechnics into universities, the ruling NDC government has announced the inclusion of two more polytechnics to join the already selected six to be converted into Technical Universities (TUs).
This latest development brings the number of polytechnics to be converted into TUs to eight out of the 10 in the country.
The six polytechnics earlier selected and declared qualified for conversion into TUs included the Accra, Kumasi, Koforidua, Ho, Takoradi and Sunyani Polytechnics. Now joining them are the Cape Coast and Tamale Polytechnics, leaving the Wa and Bolgatanga Polytechnics as the only ones yet to qualify.
In a statement signed by the Education Minister Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, the government stated that the decision by the Technical Committee followed a re-assessment of the two institutions which met the criteria
The statement asked the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) to advance action on the conversion.
“Kindly communicate the executive approval to Cape Coast and Tamale Polytechnics and take necessary steps to ensure a smooth and orderly transfer of all eight (8) polytechnics,” the Minister said.
The development falls in line with the Technical Universities Act 2016 (Act 922) passed by Parliament on August 4, 2016, which provides for the conversion of the Polytechnics to Technical Universities and related matters.
The decision to convert polytechnics into TU’s has been welcomed by the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) but has been criticised by some educationists.
The Mahama-led administration has established another public University in the Eastern Region aside the University of Health and Allied Sciences and the University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Volta and Brong Ahafo Regions respectively.
Meanwhile, polytechnics seeking to be converted into Technical Universities should have the following requirements:
a) satisfy the existing norms, guidelines and requirements of the National Council for Tertiary Education and the National Accreditation Board for accreditation as a Technical University,
b) offer a minimum of four Bachelor of Technology degree programmes in Science and Technology based disciplines
c) have academic departments headed by at least a Senior Lecturer with a PhD and professional
d) have at least three full-time lecturers with relevant research master’s degree, at least one of whom shall have industry experience.
Collaboration with industry: A polytechnic seeking to be converted to a Technical University shall provide evidence of signed training and partnership agreements or memorandum of understanding with collaborating industry partners.
After conversion, TUs are expected to provide higher education in Engineering, Science and Technology based disciplines, Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Applied Arts and related disciplines – all in accordance with the required principles.