FOR the first time since the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) introduced a programme to address the skewed distribution of students from the senior high schools (SHS), it has now offered admission to as many as six of such students on a concessionary basis to the School of Medical Sciences (SMS).
The SMS is traditionally considered the preserve of students from the well-endowed schools.
The six students admitted for the medical programme were from the Yilo Krobo SHS, Akwamuman SHS, Drobo SHS and Nkwatia Secondary Commercial School.
Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, who made this known at the 2009 matriculation ceremony of the university last Saturday, said the university was determined to go the extra mile to ensure that promising students from the less-endowed schools found a place in all the programmes of study in the university.
In all, 337 students from less-endowed SHS across the country were admitted to undertake various programmes of study at the undergraduate level this academic year.
The number constituted 3.6 per cent of the university’s enrolment of 9,463 this academic year.
Prof. Adarkwa said 13,385 applicants were qualified according to the university’s entry requirements, but due to various constraints, a number of them could not be admitted.
The Vice Chancellor said the KNUST Alumni Association was also sponsoring three students from less-endowed schools this academic year.
The students, who came from the Akuse Methodist SHS, Yilo Krobo SHS and Kwanyarko SHS, could not mobilise funds to pay their fees.
He commended the alumni for the support and urged other organised groups and corporate institutions to emulate the gesture.
Prof. Adarkwa noted that insufficient funding and the net freeze on public employment had contributed to stalling the university’s expansion programme, “but we believe that these are temporary matters.”
He said the KNUST was strengthening its distance-learning programme in order to increase access to science and technology education.
“So far, there are six regional centres for our institute of distance learning offering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. A seventh centre has just been opened in Tamale to cater for the numerous students in northern Ghana.”
With the increasing rate of unqualified students finding their way into the universities, Prof. Adarkwa said the KNUST had adopted a quality management policy, under which students would be scrutinised to ensure that they did not enter the university with fake certificates.
The Vice Chancellor said tertiary education held the key to the development of the nation, and it was important that everything was done to get things moving in the sector.
He advised the fresh students to take their studies seriously, so that they would come out well equipped to serve their country.