The President of Data Link Institute of Business and Technology (DLIBT), Professor Stanley Saamoah Moffatt, has urged the government to consider all universities, both public and private, as a public good that must be supported in equal measure.
He stressed that private universities, just like their public counterparts, were key stakeholders in the delivery of quality education in the country.
Prof Moffatt was addressing the 13th graduation ceremony of the DLIBT on Thursday, January 26, 2023 in Tema.
A total of 235 students graduated in various courses such as Master of Science (MSc) Accounting, Strategic Management.
Others completed courses in Bsc Computer Science, Information and Communications Technology, Business Administration as well as Advanced Diploma in Logistics and Transport.
Jose Moses Michael emerged the Overall Best as well as the best Male Student and best student in Computer Science, while Juliana Adu was adjudged the best student in Human Resource.
Other award winners were Nixon Kweku Hamilton (Best Student MPhill Strategic Management), Ethel Adoma (Best Female Student, MSc Strategic Management), and Hope Smith Lomotey, Best Male Student.
Enumerating some of the challenges facing private universities in the country, Prof Moffatt said private universities competed with the public universities in recruitment and retention of highly qualified faculty.
He said salary increments for government workers made the compensation packages of public universities more attractive than what most private universities could afford.
Prof Moffatt noted that the most debilitating challenge facing most private universities was inadequate funding.
“DLIBT, like most private universities, rely almost entirely on internally generated funds for all its programmes and activities while most public universities receive funding from a variety of sources, including government agencies, not-for-profit organisations and business interests,” he said
According to him, that never-ending challenge was exacerbated by the tortuous processes of accreditation and affiliation which placed excessive financial pressure on the private universities.
He called on the government not to deprive private universities of government interventions such as grants from the state, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), the Scholarship Secretariat, research grants, as well as subsidies for infrastructure expansion.
While commending the government for abolishing corporate tax, he said the state should further help by waiving all taxes on inputs required for teaching, learning and innovation in the private universities.
National Development Plan
Prof Moffatt reiterated the need for a National Development Plan which would serve as a guide for academic institutions to develop programmes and courses that would feed into the plan.
“A national development plan, in a way, can guide the government to offer competitive contracts to both public and private universities to conduct research and other activities that are believed to be in the broader public interest.” he said.
A former Dean of the University for Development Studies(UDS) Faculty of Integrated Development, Prof Paul Kwame Nkegbe, who spoke on the theme: “Turning economic crises into opportunities”, said despite facing numerous challenges, tertiary educational institutions had demonstrated an ability to adapt and innovate to meet the needs of their students and society.