UG launches Vice-Chancellor’s Programme for Enhancing Student Experience through Digitalisation

Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice-Chancellor

The UG academic environment will soon see a facelift. The Honourable Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has performed the official launch of the Vice-Chancellor’s digitalisation programme at a colourful ceremony in the Great Hall to enhance the University of Ghana student’s academic experience.

The Chair of University Council, and Chairperson for the ceremony, Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo (Rtd) in her opening remarks, stated that once digitalisation and modern technology were effectively applied, they were bound to yield good outcomes. Justice Akuffo took participants down memory lane as she recollected that the Vice-Chancellor, during her induction in October 2021, shared her vision in the following terms: 'To create a culture that promotes research, teaching and learning, administrative processes and extension activities driven by technology and anchored in humanism’. 

She noted that the vision of the Vice-Chancellor hinges on the University’s aspiration to be a world-class research-intensive University and its mission to create an enabling environment that makes the University relevant to national and global development through cutting-edge research, and high-quality teaching and learning.

Justice Akuffo reiterated that “the University of Ghana is committed to embracing this new reality and the projects being launched are intended to enhance the experience of our students and other key stakeholders. The University Council fully embraces the digitalisation programme and will support University Management to ensure its total success”.

Speaking on the initiatives to enhance the UG Student Experience, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo said the University hopes to create a sense of ownership and commitment among students, faculty, staff and alumni, to promote creativity and innovation. 

Underlining the Classroom Modernisation as the first of the three focal technology-driven initiatives, Prof. Amfo stated that the modernisation was related to expanding and updating classrooms to deliver inclusive learning spaces that utilise technology. She noted that the proposed expansion and modernisation solution involved refurbishment and installation of Information Technology (IT) equipment and gadgets and integration into the UG Learning Management System to allow for synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning to take place.

Touching on the One Student One Laptop initiative, Prof. Amfo said the project seeks to enhance teaching and learning and bridge the digital divide through partnerships with established Information Technology Companies. She emphasised that needy students would be provided free laptops, while non-needy students, faculty and staff will be able to acquire affordable laptops with flexible payment plans.

Prof. Amfo noted that the third technological component, the hot-spot comfort zones, aimed at providing designated areas around the University campus with Wi-Fi. She said that the zones will help students to interact in-between classes to make the best use of free periods.

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister for Education, expressed his delight at the launch of the event. He further stated that the initiative sychronised with government’s digitalisation agenda spearheaded by the Vice-President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. Dr. Adutwum in his address said, “Government’s commitment to this course is evident in the designation of the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation together with other state agencies to lead in this digitalisation effort.” 

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister for Education

Dr. Adutwum added that the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation, is playing a pivotal role in the development and deployment of a robust framework to support the digitalisation of the economy in a manner that captures and benefits every citizen, and also enumerated the significant gains through digitalisation. 

His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Former President of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in his remarks, stated that Covid-19 lockdowns and the resort to virtual classrooms drive home the fact that computers are an essential tool for education. Dr. Chambas said, “the Vice-Chancellor’s drive to modernise students’ learning focuses on integrating technology in all aspects of student life by upgrading lecture rooms, increasing access to computers for staff, faculty, and students as well as creating hotspot comfort zones to allow them to relax between lectures but stay connected at the same time”.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Former President of Economic Community of West African States Commission (ECOWAS)

Earlier, Prof. Gordon A. Awandare, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs in his welcome address, expressed appreciation to participants and stated that the students were the University’s primary clients and it was crucial to provide an environment to provide excellent student experience. He added that improvement in teaching and learning facilities would push the University towards achieving a global status. 

During the launch, Prof. Awandare, together with Prof. Peter Quartey, Director, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER); Prof. Kwasi Dartey-Baah, Acting Director Office of Institutional Advancement and Dr. Emmanuel Adu-Sarkodee, Chair, Intermarket Group spearheaded the call for partnership.

Displayed during the event was an 8-minute video on Enhancing Students’ Experience through Digitalisation. Additionally, the Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO), Mr. Francis Kwabena Boachie, did a presentation on the three-pronged initiative. The Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Kwame Gyan acknowledged contributions made by individuals, corporate organisations and some units at the University. 

Present at the ceremony were; Prof. Ivan Addae-Mensah, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana; Prof. Felix A. Asante, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development, Mrs. Mercy Haizel-Ashia, former Registrar; Provosts, Deans, Directors, Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi, second Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana, members of Corporate Ghana, faculty, staff, students and other members of the University Community.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo in a group photo with some dignitaries at the event