Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has implored the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) to provide solutions for businesses and government on issues of innovation in business and policy for mutual benefits.
According to Dr. Bawumia, educational institutions are strategically placed to champion the nation’s development aspirations. Against this background, he said, it is time for the nation to be propelled to higher levels through cutting-edge research that seeks to solve problems as well as bring the necessary innovations.
“Education is pivotal. Government’s industrialisation drive (One District, One Factory) can be enhanced and revitalised if educational institutions position themselves well and provide the research capacity to support the initiative.
“We are aware that you have the know-how, but we expect continuous engagement with some kind of research agenda that falls in line with our development plan,” he said.
Given this, he said, government is open to proposals that can turn things around or make relevant inroads to be presented for consideration.
The Vice President was speaking at the launch of the 60th-anniversary celebration of UGBS, and while acknowledging the successes realised so far by the university also noted that managing education in a developing country is a herculean task.
He attributed the situation to resource inadequacy, coupled with the high expectations of stakeholders.
Furthermore, he noted that the educational terrain is also fast-becoming turbulent, and therefore entreated UGBS to show leadership in this endeavour of providing management education.
Also, he said UGBS should lead by fully embracing technology and by recognising the opportunity brought by the pandemic to leverage technology to build-on competitive advantage.
“You have the opportunity to expose your students to artificial intelligence and help them explore big data and the Internet of things to help position them as global citizens,” he said.
With technology, he asserted, the faculty should find different ways to actively engage students – experiential learning, game-based learning and problem-based learning – to help impart soft skills such as autonomy, creativity, leadership and effective collaboration.
“These are in no doubt linked to the 21st century skills of critical thinking and problem-solving, collaboration, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurialism, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analysing information, and curiosity and imagination. These must become integral in your curriculum revisions, going forward.”
On the occasion of UGBS’s 60th anniversary, Dr. Bawumia said it should be a time for some kind of renaissance: “We should also do some introspection and see how the future can be made more meaningful for all of us”.
He also used the occasion to donate 100 laptops to the UGBS, in fulfilment of his promise made to the school sometime this year.
The 60th anniversary celebration is being held under the theme ‘The future of business education in Ghana; reflecting on the 60-year experience of the University of Ghana Business School’.
The Dean of UGBS, Prof. Justice Nyigmah Bawole – also speaking at the ceremony, noted that efforts continue to be made in ensuring the relevance of programmes offered to industry.
To this end, he said, two committees put in place in pursuit of this agenda have produced draft reports of revised programmes which have taken into consideration industry and stakeholder inputs.
“These include inculcating soft skills of leadership, ethics, communication, collaboration, environmentalism, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving, and entrepreneurship,” he stated.
He also said the school has been working on establishing an innovation and incubation hub with funding support from Mr. Ernest Appiah, MD of Agricultural Manufacturing Group, to provide business incubation and start-up support and funding for students.
“Although the centre is yet to be fully completed, the interest shown by our students has been phenomenal. We can already foresee that the space is small because of our huge annual student intake,” he said.