Speeche`s

A SPEECH DELIVERED BY DR. WILHELMINA J. DONKOH, PRESIDENT OF GARDEN CITY UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, KENYASI, AT THE EIGHTH CONGREGATION CEREMONY HELD ON 23RD JULY, 2016 AT THE FORECOURT OF THE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE

 

SALUTATION

Guest Speaker

Founder and Chancellor of GCUC, Mr. Albert Acquah

Chairman and Members of Council, Garden City University College

The Vice-Chancellor, KNUST

Heads of sister universities here present,

Registrars of sister universities here present

Nananom

The Clergy

Management of GCUC

Members of Convocation, GCUC

Members of the Press Corps

Distinguished Invited Guests

Parents and Guardians,

Our Cherished Graduands

Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Chancellor, Council of the University College and the entire community of Garden City University College welcome all of you to our eighth Congregation Ceremony. I also wish to give a special welcome and recognition to the Guest Speaker for this august ceremony in the person of Mr. Kojo Addae-Mensah. Once again, we welcome you all.

BRIEF STATISTICS OF GCUC

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the Academic and Administrative departments of GCUC were engaged in a number of activities in the 2015/2016 Academic Year. The details of these activities have been enumerated in the “President’s Annual Report” on the 8th Congregation, copies of which have been distributed to you. It is our fervent hope that you would find time to read them. However, Mr. Chairman, permit me to present briefly statistics on the graduating class and make a comparison to that of the 7th Congregation.

 

DATE

7th  Congregation -2015

 

 

 

8th Congregation - 2016

 

 

FACULTY

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

 

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

Applied Sciences

46

12

58

 

45

1

46

Business

242

158

400

 

203

67

270

Health Sciences

 

 

285

 

99

182

281

 

 

DATE

7th  Congregation -2015

 

8th Congregation - 2016

FACULTY

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

 

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

Applied Sciences

46

12

58

 

45

1

46

Computer Science

 

 

 

 

17

 

17

Info Tech

-

 

 

 

28

1

29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business

242

158

325

 

203

67

270

Accounting

 

 

 

 

36

18

54

Accounting with Computing

 

 

 

 

 

36

11

Banking & Finance

 

 

 

 

12

8

20

Economic & Statistics

 

 

 

 

46

1

47

HRM

 

 

 

 

28

9

37

Management

 

 

 

 

24

10

34

Marketing

 

 

 

 

21

10

31

Health Sciences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medi Lab Tech

 

 

 

 

7

1

8

Midwifery

 

39

39

 

 

31

31

BSc. Nursing

35

87

124

 

61

102

163

Diploma Nursing

 

 

 

 

21

46

67

PA

 

 

 

 

10

2

12

Total:

334

330

664

 

304

270

597

 

Mr. Chairman, this graduation of our students would not have been possible without the collective efforts of the determined and dedicated staff of GCUC. While the academic staff of GCUC have been eager to ensure academic quality in their teaching and learning and sticking to standards, the administrative staff have provided effective support in ensuring that this is done in very conducive environment. I therefore take this opportunity to applaud our dedicated lecturers, and the support staff for your immeasurable contributions to this success. I would particularly wish to single out all dedicated staff who have selflessly embarked on the outreach programme for recruiting new students.

First Batch of B.Sc. Medical Laboratory Technology and B.Sc. Physician Assistantship Studies Graduands

          Ladies and gentlemen, we are glad to announce that GCUC would graduate its first batch of the B.Sc. Medical Laboratory Technology and B.Sc. Physician Assistantship Studies students today. These fresh Medical Laboratory Technologists and Physician Assistants who are poised to play a key role in our hospitals and other healthcare facilities will continue their education to secure further professional training to ensure that they are safe to deliver quality healthcare.

Centre for Professional Development

1.0           Mr. Chairman, at GCUC, we believe it is not enough to train students just to acquire certificates. Our prime objective is to equip our products with employable skills that will enable them to beat the competition on the market. To that extent, we have professional development and enhancement programmes that enable our students to come out with what we term “degree plus”. The focus of these enhancement programmes is Information Communication Technology (ICT).

GCUC has added to the professional academies within its fold. In addition to the CISCO Academy, GCUC has also been recognised by IBM-MEA University and Oracle Academy after some of our staff passed their professional examinations on Big Data and Oracle Database Management. To date the Faculty has been able to run Boot Camps for some students in Kumasi, the result of which is that IBM has given one student trained in our IBM-MEA Academy one-month scholarship for further training with other overseas students in the United Kingdom.

 

LIBRARIANSHIP STUDIES

A Certificate Programme in Librarianship was started in March 2016 to cater for Library staff working without basic skills in the profession. The first batch comprising sixteen students who have successfully completed the course will be awarded their certificates during this congregation.

There are opportunities for students to train towards the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAG) examination. We will use this opportunity to appeal to our graduating and continuing students, particularly those in the areas of Business and ICT, to avail themselves of this wonderful opportunity to enhance their marketability. Interested persons should contact the admissions offices.

Collaborative Relationship between Industry and Private Tertiary Institutions:

Ladies and gentlemen, it is important to note that industry is the next destination for most of our graduates from private tertiary institutions. Therefore, the need for effective and pragmatic collaboration between industry and private tertiary institutions in creating job opportunities for our ever-increasing graduates cannot be overemphasized.

The private tertiary institutions are very much appreciative of the fact that the traditional output of tertiary education is not enough in this fast changing and highly competitive world, where the nature of jobs is changing. We are aware that graduates need a mix of skills to cope with and develop new knowledge, and to pursue more flexible career paths including self-employment. This mix includes basic skills such as communication to express thoughts, ideas, feelings and aspirations, as well as numeracy, scientific observation, business as well as cross-cutting skills such as critical thinking, initiative-taking and entrepreneurship. 

All this makes it incumbent on us to shift our attention towards more innovative learning practices and to focus on learning outcomes rather than focusing only on head knowledge. In other words, the focus should be what students can practically do with their knowledge and skills and not just what students should know.

With collaborative support from industry, private tertiary institutions could get rid of the mismatch between the skills needed for the job market and the skills possessed by the job seeker. Therefore, closer cooperation with the business world is a vital source of information about which skills are actually needed on the job market these days. I would also encourage role models and entrepreneurs, to help mentor our students through practical training and choice of careers.

We sincerely believe that all stakeholders would put their hands on deck to make the collaborative idea a success.

International Collaboration

In our effort to establish GCUC as a center of academic excellence we have forged international linkages with reputable institutions including Old Dominion University in Virginia, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, USA, Edinburgh Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland, the University of Skove, Sweden and Texas A & M University, USA. The various collaborations cover the areas of staff development, collaborative research, mounting of joint academic programmes and mentoring of programmes.

 

Special Honour of the Registrar of GCUC

          Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, this year Mr. Osei Tutu, would have served ten years as Registrar, after serving for two years as College Accountant brings his services at GCUC to a successful end. He would therefore be honoured at the appropriate time during this ceremony. I take this opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate Mr. Osei-Tutu for his pioneering work at GCUC. It is never easy to thread virgin ground. The pitfalls and the thorns that have to be negotiated require careful consideration. If GCUC has come this far, on behalf of Management, staff and students we say ayekoo.

Scholarships and Support to the Local Community

 GCUC continues to be a very good corporate citizen and partner of the local communities. This has been done in such ways as donation of computers to schools, outreach programmes by the Faculty of Health Science students, furnishing of the new Kenyase police station, donation of beds and mattresses to churches in the surrounding communities, and offering scholarships to members of the surrounding communities who wish to add value to themselves. In this endeavor, GCUC has sponsored over eighty students. Nominees of other stakeholders like the Methodist Church Ghana, the Catholic Church, the Otumfuo Education Fund and differently-able individuals have benefitted. Hitherto, beneficiaries have been the less endowed and the marginalized.

As GCUC continues to rebrand itself, we are charting a new path by opening up and awarding scholarships to brilliant students who wish to pursue programmes in selected areas including Business, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Science, Information Technology, Mathematics and Statistics. By brilliant students, we mean those with aggregates six to ten who choose GCUC as their preferred institution. We also have exciting packages for students who go through GCUC’s non-tertiary programmes

STAFF DEVELOPMENT

GCUC continues to support their staff, particularly the teaching Faculty to upgrade themselves through both in-house and external training locally and abroad. Currently two of our Lecturers in Nursing, Ms. Ramatu Agambire and Mrs. Vida M.K. Amoah, are on PhD Sandwich programmes in South Africa while we expect Ms. Georgina Afoakwa who has just completed her PhD in Midwifery from the University of Manchester to return to the Faculty in the 2016/2017 academic year. Mr. Prince Boakye Frimpong is pursuing PhD in Economics in Italy while Mr. Gideon Boako is pursuing PhD in Finance in South Africa. Mr. Osman Yakub is currently working on his PhD in Computer Science in India. Mr. Ernest Boakye successfully completed his MPhil programme in Information Science and has returned to strengthen the E-learning section of the Library. This is evidence of GCUC’s commitment to ensuring and providing academic excellence to our students.

We also encourage our staff to avail themselves of opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge through participation in conferences and short-term fellowships. Currently Dr. Kingsley Badu, a biomedical scientist is in the US on a prestigious fellowship after completing another fellowship in Germany.

Government-Private Partnership in Tertiary Education

Mr. Chairman, as a private or non-state (NS) tertiary institution, GCUC sees itself as an effective partner complementing the efforts of government in training the human resource of the nation. Through this means GCUC has been contributing towards the improvement of the overall quality of education delivered as well as catering to groups with specific educational or other needs. GCUC sees considerable scope for increasing non-state participation in the education sector through a variety of innovative programmes such as Dental Therapy Studies, Physician Assistantship Studies and Master of Science in Nursing.

I wish to iterate the point made last year, that instead of  the current national policy that funds only students who enroll in public institutions, Government should look at innovative alternatives like making educational funds available to be sourced by students who can then opt for either to train in private or public sector institution. With effective supervision by national monitoring institutions such as National Accreditation Board and National Council for Tertiary Education, Government can be assured of value for money.

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

There was an achievement in sports when athletes from GCUC brought home 18 medals during the last Private Universities’ Students Association of Ghana (PUSAG) games held in Accra this academic year. Kb sports, a fashion company sponsored the basketball and football teams by providing jerseys, bibs and other sponsorship packages. We are so grateful to Mr. Kofi Boakye, a philanthropist who had no affiliation to GCUC, but came to our aid to support the sports team. While expressing our gratitude to them, we also use this opportunity to appeal to other philanthropists and well-wishers to assist the institution in various ways that will help in creating well-rounded products for the betterment of society.

Mr. Chairman, we are excited to share the information that this year the Ministry of Health has granted permission for the commencement of a Dental Clinic at GCUC. This is the springboard for the much awaited establishment of a Department of Dental Therapy programme as an addition to the Health care programmes offered at GCUC. I take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Patrick E. Karikari and his team for this achievement.

GCUC SELECTED FOR INSTRUMENTAL ACCESS

Another exciting news is that the Department of Medical Laboratory Technology through the initiative of Dr Kingsley Badu, a lecturer in the Department of Medical Laboratory Technology and the collaborative effort of the Faculty and Management, GCUC’s Medical Laboratory Technology won laboratory equipment from an international competition organized by Seeding Lab. GCUC was selected among 16 exceptional university departments out of 67 applicants from 25 countries, to receive donated laboratory equipment through Seeding Labs Instrumental Access program. Seeding Labs, a USA-based donor Organization, identified these departments as having the most potential to advance cutting-edge research, expand training opportunities for students, and build the infrastructure that is critical to a thriving scientific community. The over 112 pieces of equipment/supplies with a fair-market value of US$ 54,344.40 are expected to arrive at GCUC by August this year.

University Network

The Faculty staff in CS and IT designed the new structure of the internal network. IPMC completed the construction of PHASE ONE of the network. The network is currently working graciously. We are anticipating the completion of PHASE TWO and PHASE THREE next semester to appreciate the full functionality of the network. ICT Staff are working on thin client system to reduce high cost of computer equipment and servicing and reliance of technical support.

Challenges

The main road from the Airport Roundabout that passes through Kenyase has been in a very bad condition. After many appeals, eventually, the authorities have responded to our pleas and the contract has been awarded. The section of the road running in front of the institution has been levelled. We are still pleading that the actual work be completed very soon.

The current power outages and high electricity bills have seriously affected our finances adversely.

Projections

The ultimate ambition of GCUC is to become a fully-fledged University in the nearest future. Consequently the University College has embarked on infrastructural expansion among other things to enable the academic staff get their respective office accommodations to enhance research output.

There are also plans to make the academic programmes more responsive to the needs of employers through visits and dialogue with businesses and industries. There are efforts aimed at further enrichment of the existing programmes run in this University College. To this end, professionals have actively participated in the review of academic programmes of the University College while other external stakeholders like senior banking and ICT personnel have shared their practical experiences in industry with the students to enhance to enhance their training. As part of this growth and development, GCUC will continue its dynamic process of constantly reviewing its degree programmes, course contents and mode of delivery. In the next academic year, GCUC intends to introduce evening degree (Monday- Friday: 5:30pm-8:30pm) and Sandwich degree (summer and the vacation period) programmes to meet market demands, especially among the working class.

Considering GCUC’s focus on health care programmes, Management has taken the bold step of developing a Medical Centre on Campus which might be used for training of our students. Once more, I use this opportunity to appeal to philanthropists and other parties with interest in providing better healthcare providers to join with us in this enterprise.

Advice to Graduands

Now to my cherished Graduands, you should be proud to be part of today’s graduation ceremony as you embark on the next stage of life as ambassadors of GCUC. I would therefore like to see in you a sign of humility, hard work, self-confidence, dignity and discipline as you step out into the world of work. I also encourage you to go out there and create jobs for yourselves and for others.

You must note that you are ambassadors and as such, the world would see GCUC through you. Continue to protect the good image and reputation of GCUC. Project and promote GCUC by making it great and strong each and every day in your actions, words and relations with others.  Be a proud alumnus of GCUC.

May God Bless You All in Your Future Endeavors.