The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, has challenged universities to increase graduate enrolment at the doctoral level to enable them to take over from ageing lecturers. He said that was critical to strengthening university education as the country prepared to cope with the avalanche in 2020 when the first batch of free SHS graduates would be seeking tertiary education. Graduate training Prof. Yankah suggested that all universities should make graduate training an integral part of their education to speed up the number of doctoral level graduates they produced. He commended the University of Ghana, Legon for expediting the policy of increasing its doctoral enrolment, leading to a high number of doctoral students over the past five years. Prof. Yankah was speaking in an interview on the implications of the huge number of the free SHS products seeking university education in the next two years, vis-à-vis the decision by the Auditor-General to remove all lecturers beyond the age of 65 on post-retirement contract from the government payroll. Auditor-General’s position The Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Domelevo, recently complained that public officers who should be on retirement kept renewing their contracts, thereby choking the system. According to him, the continuous contract extension was a contributory factor to graduate unemployment because persons who attained the retirement age and ought to give way continued to renew their contracts. Graduate unemployment Prof. Yankah said nobody contested the fact there was graduate unemployment, but insisted that “in the area of academia, I don’t think there is any evidence that the presence of professors on post-retirement contract has blocked the entry of new lecturers”, pointing out that there had been a huge deficit of lecturers in the public universities. “Currently, there is a huge deficit of lecturers in many of the public universities and the universities are often given clearance for hiring from year to year,” he said. He said even though he did not have the student-lecturer ratio, the professorial rank was a critical one for quality academic work and research within the university.