Monday, February 25, 2008

Increasing accountability in Ghanaian universities

Michael Boakye-Yiadom, a student and hall director at Ohio University, argues that the private sector has long funded Universities in the United States and other developed countries. In Ghana, universities – both public and private – have also searched alternative funding methods and programs, like distance education, attempts at commercializing research and chasing Alumni for contributions. Yet, for the most part, many private individuals and much of the private sector have not heeded the funding call of institutions of higher learning.

One way to make universities more attractive to investment is for them to become more accountable – not only to students, but the public. From African Path:

Ghanaian universities should begin to be seen as being more accountable to the public. The following areas of accountability may be recommended if private sector funding of higher education is to be achieved:

1. The difference between how much students pay and how much is spent on their training can be made public

2. The number of hours that lecturers spend in the classrooms, their offices, and at various libraries/museums for research purposes may be made known

3. The number of productive hours that administrators spend in their offices may be of interest to the public

4. University staff could be assessed and evaluated by students at the end of each semester, and the outcome of such evaluations may form a significant percentage for purposes of promotion and renewal of contracts 5. The public relations outfits of Ghanaian universities should be more professional in the discharge of their PR roles

6. Ghanaian universities should design websites that befit their status as higher educational institutions; and these websites should be resourceful.

Globalization and changing trends in higher education have made issues of accountability very crucial in the running of universities, and the time has come for universities in Ghana to wake to modern realities of university governance.

No comments: