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The Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, has appealed for the early completion of ongoing infrastructural projects in the university to ensure the smooth take-off of the Wa and Navrongo campuses as autonomous universities.

He noted that the completion of ongoing projects would go a long way to create more space on all the four campuses of the university in anticipation of an increase in students’ enrolment from the first batch of students from the Free SHS system.

He said inadequate infrastructure was the main challenge of the university and that some of the ongoing infrastructure had been stalled over a decade now. Prof. Teye made the appeal during the 20th congregation of the UDS in Tamale last Saturday, during which a total of 4,735 undergraduate and graduate students who completed various programmes of study in the university graduated.

Conversion of UDS

In November last year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced plans by the government to convert the Wa and Navrongo Campuses of UDS into autonomous universities to be named as the University of Business and Integrated Development Studies and University of Technology and Applied Sciences. The bill had since been passed by Parliament, awaiting Presidential assent for the formal conversion of the two campuses into autonomous universities. However, since the announcement by the President, many have raised concerns about the failure of the government to complete ongoing infrastructural projects on UDS campuses.

New campus/programmes

Delivering his address, Prof. Teye said plans were far advanced for the university to establish a city campus at Yendi, the traditional capital of Dagbon, to increase access to tertiary education for many people in the area. “Following the request from Yaa Naa for the establishment of a UDS campus in Yendi, management has begun the process of securing the land being offered by the Overlord for the project. I wish to appeal for financial assistance to actualise the dream of the Overlord and UDS in the shortest possible time,” he said. In line with the mission of the university, Prof. Teye said the university had established a Business Innovative and Incubation Centre (BIIC) on the Tamale campus of the UDS to provide a platform for nurturing and bringing to fruition business ideas mooted out by the students, alumni and the public, adding that the centre was establishing contacts with captains of the industries to leverage their rich expertise to give practical and home-grown solutions to start-ups. “The Faculty of Communication and Cultural Studies has been carved out from the Faculty of Agribusiness and Communication Sciences,” he added.

Security/Sexual Harassment

On the safety and security of staff and students on campus, he said: “We have just completed a police post to beef up security on this campus, I am appealing to landlords of private hostels to provide appropriate security for students in their hostels otherwise we will be compelled to de-recommend their facilities to our students. The campaign of No crash helmet, No entry to all our campuses is still on”. He advised the graduates to be determined and put the knowledge acquired in the school into practice and develop themselves rather than chasing white collar jobs. For his part, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the UDS, Mr Nutifafa Kuenyehia, said the university had instituted a robust system to check sexual harassment on campus and advised victims to report any such act to the relevant authorities for the necessary action to be taken. He expressed the university’s commitment to deliver on its mandate of producing graduates to enhance the development of the country. Partnership A minister of State at the Presidency, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, who read a speech on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to partner the university to use its research reports to solve societal challenges. source: graphic.com.gh