Raise retirement age for lecturers – UPSA VC urges gov’t

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) in Accra, Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, has appealed to the government for the upward review of the retirement age of lecturers in public universities.

“As you all know the compulsory retirement age in Ghana is 60 years. The irony is that for the critical staff of the University such as lecturers, it is at age 60 that they reach the apex of their career but are compelled to retire,” Prof Amartey said at the 2018 Matriculation of the UPSA in Accra on Friday.

“The practice, therefore, over the years, is that the universities are forced to hire the services of the retired lecturers on contract basis. This alternative, however, has been questioned in recent times,” Prof Amartey said.

“It is my humble appeal to the Government to save the public universities from losing very experienced lecturers by either revising the retirement age of the critical staff of the public universities or allow the universities to continue to give contract appointments to lecturers.”

Prof Amartey also appealed to the Government to help revive all abandoned GETFund projects of the University by injecting the necessary funds into them.

“I say so because the first batch of the Free SHS graduates will be due for admission into the various tertiary institutions in the 2019/2020 academic year,” he said.

This, he explained, was because the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) applicants from the Free Senior High School (SHS) system to be admitted into the tertiary institutions, undoubtedly, required aggressive expansion in the teaching and learning facilities in readiness to absorb them.

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A total of 4,407 registered fresh students for the 2018/2019 academic year matriculated.

This includes 1,039 diploma, 2,739 undergraduate, and 629 postgraduate students.

The 1,039 diploma students were made of 536 males and 503 females.

For the 2,739 undergraduate registered students, 1,505 were males and 1,234 were females, while the 629 postgraduate registered fresh students comprised 376 males and 253 females.

Prof. Amartey said this year’s intake represented about 9.9 per cent increase over last year’s.

On school fees payment, he said the UPSA students’ fees remained competitive and that it did not charge fees based on who enrolled as a regular or fee paying student.

“We do not want to admit some students to the regular session who will pay less while the larger majority is made fee paying students with heavier burden of fees payment. We spread the burden of fees charged across board,” he said.

“One good thing about the UPSA fees policy is that once enrolled as a student of UPSA, the fees remain unchanged till the completion of the programme.”

Prof. Amartey recounted that for three years running, the Management of the University had not increased the academic facility user fees of undergraduate and diploma fresh students.

He noted that the recently proposed marginal increment was yet to receive parliamentary approval compelling the University to maintain the existing fees.

In his advice to the students, Prof Amartey said: “This University has maintained and will continue to maintain a zero tolerance for all anti-social behaviours such as occultism, examination malpractices, hooliganism and other deviant behaviours.”

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Mr Kofi Ohene-Konadu, the Chairman of the UPSA Governing Council, advised the students to be focused and take their studies seriously.

Alhaji Dr Seidu Mohammed Mustapha, the Registrar of UPSA, administered the Oath of Matriculation to the freshmen.