The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has launched its 70th anniversary celebration, under the distinguished patronage of the Chancellor Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The year-long celebration is under the theme: “KNUST: 70 years of global impact, a new age for a renewed focus.”
The University, which started as the Kumasi College of Technology, was established in 1951 by Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
It has evolved over the years to its present status, with a student population of more than 80,000.
Since its adoption of the collegiate system, it has 97 departments offering 520 academic programmes.
Some of the activities lined up as part of the anniversary celebration include; an exhibition week, where the various colleges will showcase their inventions to the general public, interview with some selected alumni, a book launch on KNUST, homecoming of alumni next year, a series of public lectures and the establishment of an endowment fund for alumni to donate to help the university’s projects among others.
The Asantehene and Chancellor of the University, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who launched the anniversary, charged the management and staff to work together to drive the expected changes anticipated in the new age, within the context of its vision and mission in transforming the Ghanaian society for the better.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that we cannot continue to do things the same way,” he reminded the university community.
The establishment of KNUST, he observed, has brought varied benefits to the nation, citing its contribution to training the needed skilled manpower for industry, as well as the corporate world.
The Asantehene warned against the encroachment on lands belonging to the Kwame Nkrumah University Science and Technology (KNUST), saying perpetrators will not be spared, explaining that the negative development is inimical to the future expansion agenda of the institution.
According to him, all lands in Asanteman, including that of KNUST are vested in the custody of the Manhyia Palace and, therefore, he would not countenance any form of trespassing, given the critical role land resources play in the expansion agenda of the institution.
Currently, some of the lands belonging to the nation’s premier science and technology tertiary educational institution, including some areas at Boadi have been encroached upon.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, however, lauded the founding fathers of the University for their Noble Vision, saying the institution had made strides.
The Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Professor Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson, speaking at the launch said the vision of the institution was to become one of the top 10 universities in Africa and stressed the need for government to assist the University in improving its infrastructure to enhance its academic programmes.
According to her, the university had developed many innovative projects, such as the establishment of an e-Learning Directorate to serve as a hub for an e-learning ecosystem.
She said the institution is poised to move with the new world educational order, where digitisation is the cornerstone to achieving academic objectives.
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, said the University had over the years metamorphosed into a “Centre of Excellence”, churning out critical skilled manpower needed to spearhead development in all spheres of human development.
He, on behalf of the government extolled KNUST for its positive contribution to the country’s human resource development and urged the institution to work hard in living up to its mandate – deepening research, innovation and technological advancement and transfer to bring the needed transformation to the nation’s socio-economic agenda.
“We need an army of skilled manpower committed to transforming the nation for the better, churning out the requisite knowledge and solutions to address the 21st Century development challenges confronting the society,” he stated.
The Education Minister noted, “For Ghana to be prepared for the fourth industrial revolution, our focus should be on STEM education,” and assured that the government would not renege in its responsibility of assisting KNUST to achieve its objectives.
The launch was graced by prominent personalities like; the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, the South African High Commissioner, some Members of Parliament and Vice-Chancellors of various Universities, alumni, Provosts of the various colleges, Heads of Departments and traditional rulers among others.