Speeches

SALUTATION 

Chairman of the University Council

Pro-Vice-Chancellor

Registrar

Deans and Directors

Heads of Department

Members of Convocation

Fresh Students

Parents and Guardians

Distinguished Invited Guests

The Media

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

INTRODUCTION

On behalf of the University Council, Academic Board and Staff of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), I welcome everyone here present to the 2017 Matriculation Ceremony. My special welcome goes to all freshmen and women who have successfully gained admission into various programmes available at our University. Your presence here is a clear indication that you believe in the quality of teaching and learning being offered at UPSA and are poised for an exciting academic journey here. Many thanks for your confidence in us.

Perhaps you may wonder what the matriculation ceremony is all about. Every student who enrols for a diploma, undergraduate or postgraduate programme at UPSA is required to take the matriculation oath. The matriculation ceremony will enable you, the fresh students, to take the matriculation oath which marks your formal admission into UPSA.  Matriculation confers on the fresh students, full membership of the university upon the fulfilment of all the necessary admission requirements.  Flowing from this, every matriculated student is entitled to all rights and privileges recognised by the university.  The matriculation oath will also enjoin you to be of good behaviour and obedient to the Vice-Chancellor as well as other officers of the University, while you remain junior members of this noble institution. As fresh students, in your pledge to be of good behaviour, you are committing yourselves to be disciplined and good ambassadors of the University. It is therefore a very important experience in the life of every university student.

Interestingly, this is the first matriculation ceremony I am presiding over since I was sworn in as Vice-Chancellor on Thursday, 29th December, 2016. I am therefore equally excited just like you the fresh students.

ADMISSIONS

The University received a total of 7,086 applications made up of 1,380 diploma applications, 4,685 under-graduate applications and 1,021 post-graduate applications for the 2017/2018 academic year. At the end of the admission process, a total of 6, 015 applicants were offered admission. This is made up of 1,669 diploma students, 3,426 undergraduate students, and 920 postgraduate students.

The total number of registered fresh students stood at 4,010. This includes 1,049 diploma students, 2,274 undergraduate students, and 698 postgraduate students. The 1,049 diploma students are made of 528 males and 521 females. For the 2,274 undergraduate registered students, 1,288 are males and 986 are females, while the 698 postgraduate registered fresh students comprised 380 males and 308 females.

This year’s total number of registered fresh students happens to compare favourably with the highest number of fresh students recorded in the history of this University when we had the WASSCE double intake for the 2013/2014 academic year.

INTRODUCTION OF NEW PROGRAMMES

The University has obtained accreditation to mount the following programmes in the 2018/2019 academic year:

  • Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Management and Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Economics
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance
  • Master of Philosophy in Finance

FALSIFICATION OF ENTRY QUALIFICATION

A time-tested practice of the University is to do verification of entry qualification of all fresh students at the point of their first registration. In the process of preliminary verification of the entry qualification of fresh students for the 2017/2018 academic year, we noted that a total of 39 admitted students had either falsified their WAEC results or deliberately entered false grades on the University online admission system. The admission of such students have since been revoked and the matter has accordingly been reported to the police for further investigation. I wish to admonish all of you, our fresh students, that the University frowns upon such dishonest conduct which has the tendency to destroy not only your future but also undermine the credibility of the University.

FREE TUITION FOR PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMMES

Starting from this academic year, all undergraduate and postgraduate students of UPSA will be given free tuition for any professional programme being taught. Although the University has previously offered professional programmes on an ad-hoc basis, it has now created a policy to institutionalize the initiative, expand the number of courses offered, and make the courses available to all students for free. The professional programmes will be taken concurrently with students' degree programme classes, making it possible to graduate with both a degree and professional chartered certificate.

The objective is to arm UPSA graduates not only with academic degrees but also with professional qualifications. We believe this will give our students an edge over graduates from other universities in the competitive job market. The scheme will start with the following professional programmes.

  • Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) UK
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG)
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing, (CIM) UK.
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) UK
  • Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) UK

I urge all our students who have the capability to combine the degree and programmes to take advantage of this opportunity.

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

The University continues to invest substantially in its infrastructure development projects for the purpose of creating the enabling environment for teaching, learning, and research.The greater proportion of the funding for these projects comes from Internally Generated Fund (IGF). Two of such major projects currently being funded from IGF are the following:

  • The construction of the 3,000 seater auditorium with ancillary conference rooms and a combined seating capacity of 700 is progressing steadily. Other facilities include a two-level underground car park, media and projection rooms, lounges, exhibition and multi-purpose spaces amongst others. Work on the structural framework is about 90% complete, whilst works on the other parts of the building have reached an advanced stage.The project is scheduled for completion in March 2019.
  • The students’ centre project, on the other hand, is at the finishing level with the external ground works ongoing and the supply of furniture being undertaken. The students’ centre comprises facilities for catering services, business centre, halls for examinations and students activities, offices for lecturers, SRC, UTAG, TEWU, GRASSAG, and GAUA.

FINANCIAL AID TO STUDENTS

Vice-Chancellors Endowment Fund

The Vice-Chancellor's Endowment Fund (VCEF) was launched yesterday, Thursday, 19th October, 2017 at a well-attended ceremony at UPSA. The purpose for the establishment of the VCEF is to enable bright, but needy students to receive undergraduate and postgraduate education at UPSA against their personal pledge to work for Ghana upon graduation. Targeting a seed amount of one hundred million Ghana Cedis (GH¢100,000,000), the fund will receive third party donations as well as contributions from the University's Internally Generated Funds, with the purpose of generating operating income for the scholarships, whilst preserving the capital base. I will like to express my sincere gratitude to all individuals, corporate institutions, NGOs, and the media for coming to support us at the launch yesterday.  I am also indebted to UPSA Management, our Alumni, University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) UPSA Branch; Ghana Association University Administrators (GAUA) UPSA Branch, FUSSAG, TEWU and our students’ bodies including SRC and GRASAG for pledging their support to this noble cause by donating various sums to the fund. I wish to use this opportunity to appeal to other public-spirited individuals and organizations to emulate these examples.

Barclays Tertiary Scholarship

Barclays Bank Ltd has also selected UPSA as one of its beneficiary Universities of the Barclays Tertiary Scholarship. The scholarship will be disbursed to 15 students each academic year. The tenure of the scholarship for the beneficiary students is for one academic year renewable. Undergraduate regular students in Levels 200-400 who have attained a CGPA of 3.0 by the end of the 2016/2017 Academic Year in addition to other eligibility requirements are likely to benefit from the scholarship. The scholarship package covers academic facility user and hostel fees, all other approved fees, a laptop and feeding allowance for the duration of the academic year. The package also includes mentorship opportunities like an internship with the Bank. As we speak, the Financial Aid Office has interviewed over 45 applicants, out of which 15 have been recommended for the award of the scholarship.The disbursement of the scholarship has been scheduled to start from this academic year.

Fee Payment Regime

In order to ease the burden of fees payment on students and their sponsors, Management of the University has decided not to increase the academic facility user fees for the 2017/2018 academic year undergraduate and diploma fresh students.

It is also the policy of this University that once enrolled as a student of UPSA, one’s fees are not subject to change till the completion of the programme.

The fee policy of the University is also sensitive to the plight of students to the extent that fees charged for the whole academic year is collected on two installment basis-50% at the beginning of the first semester and the remaining 50% at the beginning of the second semester.

ADVICE AND CONCLUSION

My dear matriculants, your season and time is now. Your primary objective for coming to UPSA is to study hard towards the attainment of your degree or diploma. During your stay at UPSA, always remember that there is no easy way from the earth to the stars and hard work never kills.

While pursuing this goal, I urge you to work at becoming totally transformed individuals. You can become that transformed person when you look for a fine balance between studies and extra-curricular activities. Make time for social activities like excursions, scholarly lectures, sports and religious activities if you are so inclined, but do not allow these activities to make you lose sight of the main reason why you are here.I urge you to make maximum use of the resources and facilities placed at your disposal.  You have some of the best lecturers in the world teaching you. Visit the library regularly, attend lectures regularly, complete your assignments on time and take part in all interim assessments. Remember Blocher’s observation that “Learning is not a spectator sport. Nobody perfected their swing just by watching TV. If you want to get good, you have to be a part of the game.” Understand that you cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.

ICT is evolving and changing the world at a very fast pace. I advise you to focus on the positives that ICT present, by using it to enhance your learning and research work. Be extra careful of social media which can easily distract you from your studies when used imprudently.

There is the tendency for the younger ones amongst you to get carried away by the freedom you now enjoy.  The freedom you now have means that you must take decisions on your own and act maturely because you will be held individually responsible for all your actions and omissions. You have been nurtured well for this day by your parents, family, and teachers. Many of your loved ones have sacrificed so much so that you may enjoy the privilege of university education. Honour their sacrifice by behaving responsibly and making the most of this extraordinary opportunity.

I wish to remind you to read and pay attention to the content of the students’ handbook. It contains rules and regulations that govern your conduct at UPSA. Every aspect of the rules and regulations in the handbook apply to all students of the University and are binding on all. The soft copy of the handbook can be downloaded from the University’s website. The hard copy can be obtained from the University Library or your department.

On behalf of the Council of the University, members of Convocation, and on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate you on your admission and once again warmly welcome you to UPSA. I wish to assure you again that by the grace of God; we on our part will do all we have to, to make your stay a very enjoyable and memorable experience. I leave you with this famous quote by Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

May the Lord bless you and keep you during your years at UPSA and beyond.

May the Lord make His face shine upon you during your years at UPSA and beyond.

May the Lord be gracious unto you in all things at UPSA and even beyond.

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

I thank you all very much for your attention.

Long Live UPSA

God bless us all.

Professor Abednego F. Okoe Amartey

Vice-Chancellor

Friday, 20th October,2017

 

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