Friday, 16th June, 2023
Ghana’s number one tertiary institution for the 2022/2023 academic year, the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in the Central Region has begun exploring various educational opportunities and collaborative programmes available in the Republic of Indonesia for the benefit of its students, lecturers and faculties. The move, which among other things, would also cover the Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM) space, would give a further boost to several courses including Engineering, Science, Technology and Humanity programmes being offered at the university.
The Pro Vice Chancellor of UCC, Professor Mrs. Rosemond Boohene has, to this end, held detailed and fruitful discussions with the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia in Ghana, H.E. Paskal A. B. Rois during a courtesy call on him at his office in Accra. The two-hour meeting afforded the two leaders the opportunity to share various educational and other opportunities with each other which would inure to the benefit of both countries and particularly Ghanaians.
According to Professor Mrs. Boohene, UCC was looking at collaborative areas such as short term training, full staff and students’ exchange programmes as well as scholarship opportunities for faculty and students in Indonesian universities in all study fields. She intimated that UCC was also seeking to increase its staff strength by building their capacities through the pursuant of Masters and Philosophy Degrees (PhD) programmes by faculty and students, adding that the move would enable the university to develop and strengthen its career areas like Pharmacy, Engineering and the Arts.
The Pro Vice Chancellor told the Honorary Consul that UCC was not only a top-notch university in Ghana but also across Africa. According to her, UCC was ranked in the 2022/2023 academic year as the number one university in Ghana and in the West African sub-region. ‘It was also the fourth in Africa and one of the best globally’, Professor Mrs. Boohene added.
She informed Mr. Rois that UCC would want to leverage on this huge institutional reputation to partner with tertiary institutions in Indonesia in order to continue to churn out quality students from Ghana for the world at large.
The Honorary Consul, Mr. A. B. Rois lauded the Pro Vice Chancellor of UCC and indeed the management of the University for its success so far chalked and the continuous efforts to sustain the gains UCC had made over the decades. He was also grateful to the Pro Vice Chancellor for the visit and hoped that the proposed educational collaboration between UCC and their counterparts in Indonesia, would open another great chapter in the relationship between Ghana and Indonesia, adding that Cape Coast had always been on the Indonesian map because of the two countries’ political history and independence struggle in the days which had culminated in the identification of a spot called Jarbar in the Cape Coast castle till date.
Mr. Rois used the opportunity to discuss the various educational opportunities that Indonesian universities and the Republic of Indonesia for that matter, could offer UCC as being requested, assuring that the collaboration was highly possible for the promotion and advancement of education in the two countries. According to him, the Indonesian universities provided all manner of educational programmes and opportunities ranging from Humanities, Technology and the Sciences to Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Pharmacy, Tourism and Engineering amongst others for undergraduate, Masters and Philosophy Degree (PhD) students from across the world.
The Honorary Consul informed the Pro Vice Chancellor of UCC of the existence of the KNB Scholarship Scheme by the Republic of Indonesia which both faculty and students of UCC could take advantage of to better their lot including their academic laurels. According to him, the scholarship, which had been in existence since 1992, had so far benefited more than thirty (30) students, adding that the numbers were still counting with four more student applicants expected to leave the shores of Ghana in January, 2024 for Jakarta to pursue various fully-funded courses in various universities in Indonesia. He disclosed that those eligible should meet an age requirement in addition to an Average Grade Point of 3.25 or above.
He was hopeful that this initial meeting would afford some UCC students the opportunity to equally join the scholarship family when the next window was opened in January, next year. ‘There is also the partial scholarship where the government of Indonesia bears the full tuition cost with the student paying for the living costs’, Mr. Rois added, disclosing that more than fifteen students from Ghana were currently pursuing various educational programmes under the partial scholarship package.
Mr. Rois informed Professor Mrs. Boohene that, Indonesian with its population of more than 270 million people and her status as a member of the G-20 group, produced almost everything the country consumed and used, ranging from food, equipment, fertilizers, clothing, military hardware and ammunition to textiles, detergents and soaps as well as pharmaceuticals to aircrafts amongst others. According to him, Indonesia did not only manufacture its products in line with the European standards but also exported same to several countries across the globe. He cited one government garment factory for instance in Indonesia, PT Sritex that had a workforce of 50,000 people, emphasizing that Ghana could learn a lot of technology from Indonesia.
The Honorary Consul disclosed that his outfit was working around the clock to get an Indonesian Pharmaceutical Company to partner with a Ghanaian firm to produce all the childhood vaccines needed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for use by children. He also announced the establishment of what he described as the Indonesia African Trade Mission with a vision to helping African business firms and companies to collaborate with their counterparts in Indonesia for partnership in any discipline including education in order to move the African continent and trade to a higher level.
Mr. A. B. Rois thanked the Pro Vice Chancellor for the working visit and assured her of his support as well as that of the Embassy in Abuja and the Republic of Indonesia in making this dream a reality within the shortest space of time. He also assured Professor Mrs. Rosemond Boohene of his readiness to interact with the students at a later date in order to share more thoughts, ideas and opportunities directly with them.
The Pro Vice Chancellor noted that most of the universities in Ghana and Africa were currently also looking out for entrepreneurship programmes for their students so as not only to churn out students looking for jobs but also job creators themselves with the skills and knowledge they would have acquired from the university. According to her, UCC was using its Design Thinking and Innovation Hub and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Small Enterprise Development to nurture its students to grow business ideas in order to become employable themselves.