Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, has expressed concern about the gender gap in the human resource capacity of institutions of higher learning and the extent to which the existing staff ratio is able to meet the institution’s needs for teaching and research.
The Chancellor raised this concern at the 49th Congregation of KNUST. He was addressing graduands of the School of Graduate Studies, the Faculty of Law and the School of Business both in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
He remarked that while the general female-to-male staff ratio had improved over the years, women still constituted a small fraction of academic staff. It was his view that there were not enough females in the professoriate to serve as role models who could mentor prospective female academics. He therefore called for urgent and new initiatives to build the next generation of academics in the universities.
His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II also advocated for institutional mentoring programmes for young employees, whereby new staff would be paired with mid-career or established senior colleagues who are sensitive and responsive to young employees’ work-life circumstances. This would help attract and retain female academics who otherwise might be significantly compromised by the contending demands of home and workplace.
Professor William Otoo Ellis, the Vice-Chancellor stated that in line with government’s vision of up-grading some polytechnics into technical universities in the near future, KNUST in collaboration with the Cape Coast, Ho and Takoradi Polytechnics had initiated processes of running specific programmes leading to the award of Master of Technology (M.Tech) degrees. The programmes are Agricultural Engineering, Automobile Engineering, Production Engineering, Refrigeration and Air Condition Engineering, Civil Engineering, Construction Technology and Industrial Art.
This joint effort, according to Prof. Ellis, is anticipated to build the needed capacity for the polytechnics to run and award Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degrees. It is also expected that the new programmes will offer a clear career pathway towards the upward academic progression of polytechnic graduates in Ghana.
This year, a total of 8,179 students graduated.7, 615 were undergraduates and 564 postgraduates out of which 41 candidates are PhD.