The National Accreditation Board has said there are close to 50 tertiary institutions operating without accreditation, which means they are awarding certificates that are unapproved.
Listed on the board’s website, about 46 of the ‘illegal’ institutions are local while two of them are foreign.
Already, employers complain about the quality of graduates at all levels of education, with some decidedly giving preference to Ghanaians who have schooled abroad.
The Greater Accra and the Ashanti Regions lead the chat as having the most number of these schools, which are dotted across the country.
According to the accreditation board, these institutions have not been accredited as tertiary institutions to run diploma or any other tertiary programmes in Ghana.
It also says they are not mandated to award or issue any academic or professional certificates.
“Neither the institutions nor their programmes are accredited by the National Accreditation Board. Employers and potential students are advised to consult the NAB before enrolling in any tertiary institution in Ghana,” it said.
“This is by no means an exhaustive list of institutions which have not been accredited to operate and award qualifications. The board will continue adding to the list as and when any more come to its notice.”
An accredited institution is a public or private institution that has been given full authority to operate as an academic institution by the government-mandated body.
A diploma is normally awarded by a tertiary institution after a candidate pursues a course of study spanning one to two years.
Tertiary institutions include a university, university college, and Post-Secondary Diploma awarding institution, professional body awarding certificates or diplomas or professional training institution.
The board, in a new policy, has said potential investors in university education will have to prove financial sustainability, and that they can ensure continuity of the institution.
The new policy means that financial assessment is going to be key before any private university is given accreditation to operate in the country.
Processes involved in granting authorisation include meeting with members of the Institutional Visits Committee at NAB’s Secretariat, to be attended by the Chairman and members of the Proposed Institutions Preparatory Committee.
Items required include documents on proposed site, registration of institution and approval by local authorities. The proposed site must be inspected and approved by the Board before operations commence.
Authorisation is granted for a maximum period of three (3) years, and may be renewed for another three (3) years.
Most private university colleges fund the institution’s and staff development from internally generated funds – and as these institutions expand and initiate more degree programmes, the cost of graduate-training increases.
They are, therefore, unable to invest in staff development to satisfy standards required by the National Accreditation Board.