Engaging the future: How private universities and tech companies are pioneering a new era of learning



Technology is becoming increasingly cheaper in education delivery. This trend can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Digitalization: The shift from physical textbooks to digital resources and e-learning platforms has reduced the cost of producing and distributing educational materials.
  2. Open Educational Resources (OER): The availability of free or low-cost OER, including textbooks, videos, and interactive learning modules, has democratized access to educational content.
  3. Cloud Computing: Cloud-based services and storage have eliminated the need for expensive on-premises infrastructure, reducing the overall cost of delivering educational content.
  4. Affordable Devices: The proliferation of affordable smartphones, tablets, and laptops has made it easier for students to access digital learning materials.
  5. Online Courses and MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and online learning platforms offer cost-effective alternatives to traditional classroom education.
  6. AI and Automation: Advances in artificial intelligence and automation have the potential to personalize and streamline education delivery, reducing administrative costs.

The Unfinished Business

Private universities play a crucial role in supporting Ghana’s educational system in several key ways and the recent, decreasing cost of technology in education is making learning more accessible and affordable for students, while also providing educators with powerful tools to enhance teaching and learning experiences. However, it’s important to address issues of digital equity and ensure that all students, staff, and faculty have access to these cost-effective resources. This feature presents a few important pointers for stakeholders’ consideration to enhance the educational services delivery in Ghana:

  1. Expansion of Access to Higher Education:

Private universities have significantly increased the availability of higher education in Ghana. They provide alternative options for students, especially in areas where public universities are limited or overcrowded.

  1. Diverse Academic Programs:

These institutions often offer a wide range of programs, including specialized and career-oriented courses that may not be available in public universities. This diversification meets various student interests and market demands.

  1. Innovation in Teaching and Learning:

Many private universities in Ghana are known for adopting innovative teaching methods, including the use of technology and interactive learning platforms, which enhance the educational experience.

  1. Industry Partnerships:

They frequently collaborate with industry partners, providing students with practical skills and exposure to real-world experiences. This helps bridge the gap between academia and industry.

  1. Research and Development:

Although more prominent in public universities, private institutions in Ghana increasingly engage in research activities, contributing to national development and innovation.

  1. International Collaboration:

Private universities often have partnerships with foreign institutions, facilitating international exchange programs, joint research projects, and global academic exposure for students and staff.

  1. Flexible Learning Options:

These institutions tend to offer more flexible learning schedules, including evening and weekend classes, which cater to working professionals and non-traditional students.

By complementing the efforts of public universities, private institutions in Ghana are crucial in enhancing the overall quality and accessibility of higher education in the country.

Engaging the Future

The COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis that brought the world to its knees, has also sown the seeds for a radical transformation in Ghana’s academic landscape. The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges to private university education delivery, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Transition to Online Learning:

Universities had to quickly shift to online platforms, posing challenges in terms of technology access and proficiency, both for students and faculty.

  1. Quality of Education:

Maintaining the quality of education was difficult, as online learning often lacks the engagement and interactivity of in-person classes.

  1. Financial Strain:

Private universities faced financial challenges due to reduced enrollment and increased costs for implementing online learning infrastructure.

  1. Mental Health Impact:

Students and faculty experienced mental health issues stemming from isolation, uncertainty, and the stress of adapting to new learning environments.

  1. Research Disruptions:

Academic research faced disruptions due to limited access to laboratories, libraries, and other on-campus resources.

  1. Inequalities Exacerbated:

The shift highlighted and often exacerbated existing inequalities among students, especially in terms of access to technology and suitable learning environments at home.

  1. Admissions and Assessment Challenges:

Adapting admissions processes and assessment methods to a virtual format was complex, raising concerns about fairness and integrity.

These challenges required significant adaptation and resilience from both educational institutions and their stakeholders. In the heart of Accra, amidst the bustling streets and vibrant markets, lies a quiet revolution in education.

Collaboration Works

Private universities, once traditional bastions of learning, are now joining forces with cutting-edge technology firms. Their goal is to reinvent how they attract students, staff, and faculty in a post-pandemic world.

  1. The Catalyst of Change:

When the pandemic struck, educational institutions worldwide faced unprecedented challenges. In Ghana, private universities were no exception. Overnight, lecture halls emptied, and campuses became ghost towns. But within this crisis lay an opportunity. Universities realized the need to innovate or risk becoming obsolete.

  1. A Synergistic Approach:

At the forefront of this innovation are strategic collaborations between academia and technology companies. For instance, Ashesi University has partnered with Google to integrate AI and machine learning into its curriculum, offering students skills that are highly sought after in the global job market.

  1. Voices from the Ground:

“Before, I felt like my education was preparing me for yesterday’s world,” says Ama, a computer science student at Ashesi. “Now, it feels like we’re at the cutting edge, learning things that will shape our future.”

  1. Beyond the Classroom:

These collaborations extend beyond curriculum development. Tech companies are providing internships, research grants, and real-world projects that give students a taste of the professional world. For faculty, these partnerships mean access to advanced research tools and a chance to stay abreast of industry trends.

  1. Facing Challenges Head-On:

Despite these advances, challenges remain. Bridging the gap between academic theory and industry practice isn’t always smooth. Universities and companies must learn to speak the same language and align their objectives.

  1. The Road Ahead:

As Ghana navigates its post-COVID reality, these partnerships offer a beacon of hope. They are more than just a response to a crisis; they are a reimagining of education. A future where learning is interwoven with the real-world challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.


In a world that’s constantly changing, Ghana’s private universities and tech companies are not just adapting; they are leading the charge. By joining hands, they are crafting a new narrative for education; one that promises to equip students with the tools to build a better tomorrow.

Disclaimer: All quotes, extracts, and excerpts are duly acknowledged.

Leave a Reply