Four of Ghana’s public universities will get new names if the controversial Public University Bill is approved and passed by parliament.
They are University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale, University for Professional Studies (UPSA) in Accra, University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani and the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in Ho.
These tertiary institutions are expected to be named after their founders and fore-bearers who have been very instrumental in Ghana’s struggles as well as the development of education as a whole.
The University for Development Studies will be renamed after former President Jerry John Rawlings who facilitated its establishment in May 1992. Former President Rawlings is reported to have donated $50,000, the prize money of a World Food Prize Foundation Award in 1993, as the seed money for the establishment of the university.
The University of Energy and Natural Resources is expected to be renamed after Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia, Prime Minister in the second republic and a native of the Bono region where the institution is cited.
The University for Professional Studies will be named in honour of Nana Opoku Ampomah, its founder and a former member of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), while the University of Health and Allied Sciences is to be renamed in honour of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the political party that ushered Ghana into independence in 1957.
Two public tertiary institutions have already been renamed in the past year by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. They are the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa which has become George Grant University of Mines and Technology after its name changed to honour the first President of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), and Wa Polytechnic which becomes Dr. Hilla Liman Polytechnic, named after Ghana’s president in the third republic.
The change of UPSA’s name had already been hinted by President Akufo Addo when he addressed the uiversity community at its congregation last year.
However, these changes can only take effect if the controversies surrounding certain clauses in the draft bill are properly ironed out and the proposed name changes are left to remain without amendment.