VC Tours Climate Change Centre and PhD Building Sites

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aryeetey being shown the Climate Change building plan

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, has visited the construction sites for the Climate Change Centre and a PhD building to check on progress of the two building projects. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor in charge of Research, Innovation and Development, Prof. John Owusu Gyapong and the Director of the Building Capacity for Climate Change Research (B4C) Project, Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu accompanied the Vice-Chancellor on the tour.

This Climate Centre project is part of the activities under the Building Capacity for Climate Change Research (B4C) Project, whichseeks to build UG's capacity to support Ghana's efforts on climate change adaptation. A major need identified by the B4C project was the shortage of climate change expertise in the country. As such, the project focused considerable effort on human resource development and supported the development of the graduate programme on Climate Change and Sustainable Development (CCSD) which offers one-year MSc and 2-year MPhil degrees. The CCSD recruited the first cohort of students in January 2012 and currently has about 40 students from Ghana and other West African countries.

On completion, the Climate Centre will have two large lecture halls, two seminar rooms for use by students and offices for faculty, as well as a Climate Change Resource Centre which will be open to the general public to provide and disseminate climate change adaptation information. The Climate Centre project is funded by the Open Society Foundations and University of Ghana's internally generated Funds and is expected to be completed and commissioned by December 2015.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey reiterated that Climate Change Adaptation is one of the four priority thematic areas selected by the University for developing centers of Research Excellence. Hence, the Climate Centre will contribute directly towardsattainment of the University's  objectives. He expressed the hope that this facility will enhance climate change research at the University and indeed make University of Ghana a centre of excellence for climate change research.

Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, Director of the B4C project, explaining a point to the Vice-Chancellor

Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, Director of the B4C project, expressed the hope that the building will ease the problem of adequate space for teaching and research and that this will enable UG increase student intake and expand the CCSD programme to include PhD offering.

Prof. Kwadwo Ofori welcoming the Vice-Chancellor to the PhD building site

The Vice-Chancellor also inspected the PhD building near the School of Graduate Studies, which is also under construction. At his inductioninto office as the VC, Professor Ernest Aryeetey outlined a vison for the University of Ghana, the central theme of which was that UG becomes a World Class University. His strategy for leading UG to this height included intensification of UG faculty research and increase in graduate enrolment. He set a target of 40% graduate student numbers in the total UG student population and an increase in numbers from around 2000 at that time to 5000 within five years. In line with this vision, UG's PhD programmes were re-structured from the three-year   research structure to a four-year structure, which includes one year course work, in order to deepen the theoretical base of PhD candidates. PhD student recruitment indeed has increased significantly in the past three years.

The dedicated PhD building is needed to accommodate the increased PhD student numbers and improve facilities for PhD students. When completed, the two-storey building will provide additional lecture halls, seminar rooms and reading rooms, as well as comfort facilities to ensure that both resident and non-resident PhD students have a place on campus where they can work.  The provision of a dedicated block for PhD students is just oneof the many actions being undertaken by the University to enhance its graduate programme delivery.

The PhD building, which is expected to be completed and commissioned by the end ofDecember 2015, is funded from external donor funds and UG's internally generated funds.

The team at the PhD building site