The founder of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) who is also the Paramount Chief of Amoafo Traditional Area has turned 95 years.
Nana J.K. Opoku-Ampomah’s legacy can be traced back to his humble beginnings in Bekwai, Ashanti Region, where he was born on August 28, 1928. After pursuing higher education at the prestigious University of Ghana, Legon, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration, setting the groundwork for his future endeavors.
Fueled by a fervent ambition to establish an institution that would nurture the talents of professional accountants and administrators, Nana Opoku-Ampomah took a courageous step and founded the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) in 1967. This marked the initial spark that would eventually evolve into the esteemed University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
The University of Professional Studies, (UPSA) formerly the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) was birthed out of a dream of a young man in 1965 as a private business professional institution. By dint of hard work, the founder, Nana J.K. Opoku Ampomah successfully carved a niche for the Institute as the only tertiary educational institution to train professional accountants and administrators in the whole of West Africa at the time. The institution has undergone a lot of restructuring over the years through to where it is today.
Nana Opoku-Ampomah’s forward-thinking approach led to IPS offering courses in collaboration with renowned professional bodies such as the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Secretaries (CIS), the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (ICMA), and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
His pioneering efforts successfully challenged the prevailing notion that university degrees held greater value than professional qualifications, ushering in a transformative change in Ghana’s education landscape.
The celebration attracted a distinguished gathering, including the Inspector General of Police and prominent alumni from various sectors across Ghana. These alumni, now holding influential positions, proudly demonstrated the far-reaching impact of Nana Opoku-Ampomah’s vision, cementing his influence on education and society at large.
One of Nana Opoku-Ampomah’s most notable achievements was the exceptional success of the first group of candidates who undertook professional examinations in 1968. Their resounding triumph not only highlighted the quality of education provided at IPS but also garnered the attention of employers, leading to a surge in demand for IPS graduates.
His vision transcended Ghana’s borders. The institution’s reputation for excellence gained international recognition, with organizations like UNESCO and the Commonwealth Secretariat sponsoring students to study at IPS. This not only underscored the global esteem of the institution but also cultivated a diverse student body, with participants hailing from countries such as Nigeria, Togo, and Dahomey.
As the global UPSA alumni community joyously celebrates Nana J.K. Opoku-Ampomah’s 95th birthday, they not only pay tribute to his visionary leadership but also salute his enduring legacy, which continues to shape the lives of countless individuals and elevate the institution he founded to new heights of excellence.
With great fortitude and hard work, the Presidential Charter was granted to the Institute in September, 2008 making it a fully-fledged university capable of awarding its own certificates, diplomas and degrees for its accredited programmes. In 2012, the University of Professional Studies Act 2012, Act 850 was passed to change the name of the Institution from Institute of Professional Studies to University of Professional Studies.
Repositioned as a fully-fledged public university, with its unique mandate to provide academic and professional education, the University is poised towards attaining scholarship, professionalism and entrepreneurship; offering professional, postgraduate, bachelors and diploma programmes. From an initial enrolment of five students in 1965, the University currently can boast of more than 20,000 students.
At a Special Congregation on 26th April, 2018 the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo unveiled the plaque to rename the University after the Founder of the Institute, Nana Opoku Ampomah. The necessary constitutional and legal processes have been put in motion to effect the name change to Opoku Ampomah University of Professional Studies.
Nana Opoku-Ampomah the Paramount Chief of Amoafo-Bekwai in the Ashanti Region known in private life as Mr. Joseph Opoku-Ampomah, was the founder and the first director of the then Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) now the University of Professional Studies (UPSA), Accra.