President of the University of Ghana Graduate Students’ Association of Ghana (GRASAG- UG), Claudius B. Angsongma, has expressed his frustration over government’s lack of support for graduate students over the past two years.
According to Claudius, the government has failed to provide grants or bursaries for recent research projects, a practice that was once commonplace.
In an interview on Campus Exclusive, he indicated that this lack of support has hindered the progress of graduate students and their ability to make meaningful contributions to society.
“For the past [two] years now, graduate students haven’t received any grants or support from the government of Ghana to conduct research. This is something all preceeding governments did, they supported graduate students. They gave us some grants to conduct our research.”
In the years prior to 2018, students were given an annual grant to conduct research. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government used the situation as a justification for not providing their grants.
“After 2019, they used COVID to cover up everything”, Claudius added.
In response, GRASAG is planning to organize a demonstration to remind the government of their responsibility to support graduate students and their research.
“This isn’t something new that we are asking for from the government of Ghana; it’s something that has always been in existence and every graduate student used to benefit from it….so we are planning to embark on a demonstration where we also need to let them know that we are struggling as graduate students.”
Claudius is calling on the government of Ghana to recognize the needs of graduate students in the country.
He also pointed out the inadequacy of the amount of funds given to graduate students to conduct their research. He noted that PhD candidates are only given GHC 400 to conduct their research, which is not enough to cover all expenses in research projects.
“We are reminding the government that graduate students are still here in the country and we need [adequate bursaries] to conduct our research. Even with the bursary they still give us it’s too inadequate….you are giving a PhD candidate GHC 400 to go and conduct research?”
Story by: Henrietta Owusua | univers.ug.edu.gh