Editorial: Enough of the public universities

President Akufo-Addo on Friday, May 20, 2022 cut the sod for the commencement of construction of the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences (UEAS) at Bunso, in the Eastern Region. It will be recollected that, in this year’s State of the Nation Address delivered in March, this year, President Akufo-Addo did indicate that steps were being taken to turn the planned Bunso campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development into a standalone, independent University dedicated to the study of Engineering.

“I also indicated that construction of this campus will begin within the next three (3) months. As you already know, President Akufo-Addo does not make promises he cannot fulfill, and I am happy that we are all gathered here at Bunso to cut the sod for the construction of the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences, which will be a Centre of Excellence in Engineering, Agricultural Sciences, Applied Sciences and Built Environment,” the President said.

First of all, The Chronicle congratulates the president for honouring his promise to establish the university. Since education is the foundation for the development of every economy, any country that downplays the role of education does so at her own risk. Because the level of education is low in Africa, most people are poor and can barely afford one square meal in a day. Our first republican president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, realised this and decided to introduce free education in the northern half of the country.

Years after his demise, free education has now been extended to all parts of the country, thanks to President Akufo-Addo and his government. Unlike in the past, majority of the youth today have at least Senior High School level of education. Our quest to open up the frontiers of education has also resulted in the establishment of so many public and private universities. Though this is a healthy development, it is at the same time creating problems for the country.

As we put this piece together, there are thousands of university graduates walking on our streets without jobs, and year in and year out the number keeps increasing. Clearly, looking at the size of our national economy, there is no way these thousands of graduates will get work to do in order to feed their families. It is upon the basis of this that The Chronicle is calling on the government to put a freeze on further establishment of public universities in the country.

In our opinion, money that will be used to open new universities should be channelled into the establishment of companies that will help to absorb our youth who are roaming the streets without jobs, though most of them are university graduates. In the current situation we have found ourselves as a country, the supply of graduates to the job market appears to have far exceeded what the market can absorb. This, in our opinion, is what is increasing the unemployment situation in the country.

The government should, therefore, not exacerbate the already precarious situation by establishing more universities when the graduates will not, at the end of the day, get work to do after completing their courses at these tertiary institutions. Enough of opening new universities – attention should now be focused on job creation. We wish to, however, put it on record that this opinion we are expressing does not mean we, the staff of The Chronicle, do not value education- far from that. Our concern is the unemployment situation and steps we should all take to address the unfortunate development.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here