The Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) has hinted at a plan to clear the backlog of unaccredited courses at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Ghana (UG).
The Director General of GTEC, Prof. Mohammed Salifu, stated that there had been a proposition already in place with the universities to get their courses accredited.
“We have arranged with the universities for a special arrangement to get them off our books”.
Prof. Salifu reiterated that the universities must see to it that their programmes were accredited before running them.
“The law is very explicit on that. The onus is on the university to make sure that they have accreditation before they run the programmes. If you don’t have accreditation, you don’t run the programme.”
This arrangement has been necessitated by the Auditor-General’s 2021 report, revealing that 374 academic programs at the University of Ghana are unaccredited.
Out of the 374 courses, 14 are Diploma programs, 80 out of the 374 programs are Undergraduate courses, Post-Graduate unaccredited courses are 213, and 67 are PhD courses.
The auditors noted “that the University advertised 374 academic programs on the various web portals that had the accreditation expired or required re-accreditation during the period under review”.
The running of unaccredited courses is in contrast to Section 36 of the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020 (Act 1023), which provides that “a person who runs or advertises a tertiary education program that is not accredited; commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than ten thousand penalty units and not more than twenty thousand penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years and not more than 20 years, or to both.”
The Auditor-General recommended that the management of the university should “expedite action for accreditation and re-accreditation of all new and expired academic programs, respectively.”
Management was also asked to “liaise with Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) to take retrospective accreditations to cover all the non-accredited certificates issued to students.”
The report also revealed that some academic programs offered by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) had not been accredited.
According to details of the report, “out of the 360 programs run by the University, only 61 have been accredited, 190 sent to National Accreditation Board (NAB) for accreditation and re-accreditation with 109 yet to be sent to NAB for accreditation.”
The Auditor-General has, therefore, “recommended to management to cease running programs that are not accredited or having its accredited certificates expired, until they are accredited or renewed, to avoid sanctions by NAB.”
Though KNUST has kicked against this finding, saying the commission was lagging in its duties, Prof Salifu said the schools were ultimately at fault.
“Those applications that recently came here are applications that within a month or two have flooded our system because we discovered they were programs whose accreditation had expired.”
“If within a month or two you bring 400 programs to this place, obviously you are not going to expect an immediate response on that,” Prof. Salifu replied in an interview on Citi FM.