Technical varsities still unattractive …. 2-years after conversion

Technical universities are the least choice for Senior High School (SHS) graduates who want to pursue higher education in the country, data available to the B&FT have revealed.

A B&FT analysis of enrolments in the major higher education institutions of the country – public universities, private universities, colleges of education and technical universities/polytechnics – from the National Accreditation Board’s 2018 Tertiary Education Sector report, revealed that total enrolments in the ten technical universities/ polytechnics are the least.

While enrolments of students in other tertiary institutions went up, enrolment of students in technical universities/polytechnics has seen a sharp decline to 47,714 students from 51,169 students, the report showed.

For instance, increase in enrolment at colleges of education has been consistent. There is an increased intake of diploma students every year, such that the numbers have almost doubled within the last five years.

The current student enrolment into colleges of education stands at 50,218. Public universities have the highest student enrolment in the country with 237,171; while private university students’ enrolment is at 68,628.

Government, in 2016, converted eight polytechnics into technical universities in a bid to make them offer more practical programmes for developing middle-level manpower to facilitate development.

The move was also meant to uplift the status of polytechnics to that of traditional universities.

But the change of name is yet to have an impact on running the technical universities, as they are still faced with a number of challenges. Key among them is their inability to recruit and retain qualified staff with relevant practical or professional experience.

This is because the types of skilled professionals the polytechnics require are also those highly sought-after by industry.

In this regard, therefore, the technical universities are unable to compete for staff with industry – which is able to offer better remuneration packages.

Currently, the government of Ghana spends less than GH¢3,000 on a student in a technical university per year.

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