The Pro Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Ghana has admitted to defaulting in the accreditation of programmes run by the University.
According to Professor Gordon Awandare, administrative lapses on the part of the University and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) have resulted in the current state of affairs.
Speaking in an interview on Joy FM’s Midday News on Thursday, he stated that the lapses are not as severe as reported in the Auditor-General’s 2021 report.
He, however, failed to provide the exact number of programmes that have not been accredited.
“No, I think that the numbers are not that high but it is true that there have been some lapses in the system in terms of keeping the accreditation valid for all times and this is something that has happened over a long period of time over the years where sometimes lapses in communication between the National Accreditation Board then and now GTEC have led to some of these gaps,” he said.
This comes after the Auditor-General’s 2021 report revealed that 374 academic programmes at the University of Ghana are unaccredited.
Out of the 374 courses, 14 of them are Diploma programmes, 80 out of the 374 programmes are Undergraduate courses, Post-Graduate unaccredited courses are 213, and 67 PhD courses.
Meanwhile, the running of unaccredited courses is in contrast to Section 36 of the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020 (Act 1023) which “provides that a person who runs or advertises a tertiary education programme that is not accredited; commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than ten thousand penalty units and not more than twenty thousand penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years and not more than 20 years, or to both.”
Prof Awandare explained some of the possible reasons for the accreditation delay.
“In fact, there are instances where courses have been accredited but the certificates are sitting at GTEC and the Department doesn’t even know.
“And then vice versa there are also cases where there are letters sitting within the University system where the Department is supposed to address certain comments in order for the accreditation to go forward and the accreditation hasn’t taken place because the letter got mixed up in the system,” he said.
According to him, the University of Ghana has taken swift measures to resolve the issue.
When asked what happens to certificates issued so far although unaccredited, he said that the University is working with GTEC to regularise courses through a thorough audit.
“We are working with GTEC on what to do to come to an agreement on what to do or cases where there was a gap period where the accreditation was not valid, there are various options whether the University will pay a fine for the accreditation to be backdated just like you do for licenses that have expired and things like that,” he stated.
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