The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has won the second tranche of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars programme grant worth over $51 million.
The funding is to support KNUST to train 1,500 scholars in the next 10 years.
Under the programme, needy, brilliant students are awarded scholarships to undertake their programmes at the university.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Kwasi Obiri Danso, who announced this at the KNUST Founders’ Day Special Congregation last Friday, said the feat was possible due to the successful implementation of the first phase of the programme, in which the university awarded scholarships to 750 students.
According to him, the programme initially targeted 700 students, but with prudent management, the university was able to increase the number to 750 students.
Prof. Danso said the first batch of the new intake would start from the 2020-2021 academic year.
He expressed gratitude to the government for granting the university clearance to replace and recruit additional staff.
He said the university got clearance for 426 places to augment its staff strength.
A total of 3,442 students graduated during the special congregation, which coincided with the last day of the three-day R. P. Baffour Memorial Lectures.
They were made up of 879 undergraduates and 2,563 postgraduates, including 52 doctor of philosophy (PhD) qualifiers.
Prof. Danso said the university continued to lift the image of the country internationally., noting that it was recently ranked the 14th best university in Africa and the best in West Africa.
He said during the African Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project Steering Committee (ACE Impact) meeting and workshop in Senegal in September this year, the Gambia Technical Training Institute was selected as a centre of excellence to be transformed into a university of science, engineering and technology, “and I am honoured to inform you that KNUST, as the premier science and technology university in Africa, was selected as mentor institution, among other top worldwide universities”, to mentor the new university.
The Chancellor of the university, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, congratulated the staff, faculty and management of KNUST on being ranked the best in West Africa.
“I feel proud and honoured to be associated with this great institution as the chancellor,” he said.
The chancellor warned of a looming residential accommodation crisis that would soon face the university owing to the large number of students who applied to the KNUST on a yearly basis.
He said the situation would be worse, come next year when a large number of the first batch of free SHS students would enter university.
He said although a number of firms had approached the university to build students’ accommodation on campus, “unfortunately not much action has been seen in terms of actual construction works”.
As stakeholders, he said, there “is an urgent need for all of us, including the government, to engage in a dispassionate discourse on the best way to provide residential accommodation on campus before the next academic year”.
The Chancellor later cut the sod for the construction of a four-storey bookshop by EPP Books.
He also inaugurated a multi-purpose storey building for the KNUST Primary School. The building has a state-of-the-art science laboratory with CCTv cameras and an ICT laboratory. – GraphicOnline