In recent years, the University of Ghana, Ghana's premier university, has pursued an aggressive agenda to increase its post-graduate output and become a research intensive university, able to contribute more effectively to Ghana's development. UG's efforts are beginning to show results: there has been a significant increase in post-graduate student recruitment from under 2000 in 2009 to over 4000 in 2011.
PhD student recruitment is also showing encouraging trends although it still accounts for less than 1% of the total student population and only 8.75% of the post-graduate student numbers.
The growing interest in UG PhD training was given a boost in 2011 by the PhD grants provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York through the UG-Carnegie Next Generation of Academics in Africa Project (UG-Carnegie NGAA). In the first two-year phase of the Project, 31 students received grants to support their PhD research. This number far exceeded the target of 20 initially set for the project. Five of the award recipients have already submitted and defended their PhD theses and remain on UG faculty. Another 18 PhD students are receiving support through the second phase of the UG-Carnegie NGAA Project which is currently in the second year of the three-year implementation period.
The University of Ghana in 2014, won another grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to further support its PhD training, through the Accelerated PhD Training through University of Ghana - Diasporan Linkages Project (APT-Ghana).
The ultimate goal of this Project is that Africa has adequate top performing doctoral scholars delivering cutting edge research to generate and transfer relevant knowledge for Africa's development agenda. The immediate goal is that University of Ghana becomes a hub for an African regional doctoral training, drawing on its Diasporan partnerships to enhance its PhD programmes, thereby attracting top performing PhD and post-doctoral candidates and enhancing its research output.
In order to assure the desired outcomes and impact, the Project has adopted two main strategies that are mutually reinforcing:
i) expanding and institutionalising the UG-Diasporan Linkage Programme
ii) the establishment of a doctoral academy to enhance PhD output.
Expanded and institutionalised UG-Diaspora Linkage Programme (UG-DLP)
In the implementation of the UG-Carnegie funded Next Generation of Academics in Africa Project, UG initiated a Diaspora Linkage Programme (UG-DLP). The purpose of this was to tap into the pool of expertise provided by African Professors in the Diaspora to augment its faculty strength and enhance post-graduate training, supervision and faculty research output. With the limited numbers of senior faculty qualified to provide PhD level training and adequate thesis research supervision, drawing on expertise within the diaspora offered an immediate to short-term solution, which, in the longer term, will ensure adequate numbers of high quality faculty to sustain post-graduate training at UG.
One of the two foci of the APT-Ghana Project is to focus on the expansion of the UG-Diaspora Linkage Programme into a vibrant UG-Diasporan Professors Partnerships focusing on High Quality PhD delivery.
The UG-DLP therefore seeks to establish links with existing Diaspora Networks, partner universities and individual diasporan professors. Our expectation is that individual diasporan professors will obtain the endorsement from their universities to spend their leave/sabbatical periods at the University of Ghana. Professors invited on the UG-DLP must be available for a minimum of four weeks, normally but preferably for one to two semesters, and willing to teach graduate courses, supervise MPhil/PhD students, examine student theses, engage in research (ideally in collaboration with UG faculty), and support the development of new post-graduate programmes.
The UG provides a return economy air ticket to Ghana for Professors on the UG-DLP and in addition provide a small daily allowance to cover costs in Ghana for the initial 90 days of their stay. The UG will also endeavour to provide accommodation on campus where necessary.
Interested African academics working in Universities abroad and interested in the UG-DLP, may kindly send an e-mail stating their interest with a completed application form and an abridged CV (no more than 3 pages), to the following address:
Attention: Mrs. Christy Badu, Senior Assistant Registrar, APT-Ghana Project.