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Three hundred and fifty four(354) graduands have been honored with first class at the 6th Congregation ceremony of Takoradi Technical University. The congregation, which is the first to be held largely virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions, saw 4,218 students graduating for the 2020/2021 academic year with 2,166 also receiving Second class honors.

In his address as the Chairman of the 6th Congregation, the Deputy Director General of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, GTEC, Dr. Ahmed Jinapor Abdulai, reiterated the need for Technical Universities like TTU to stay within their mandate and help produce workforce that are employable by industry.

Dr. Ahmed Jinapor Abdulai-Deputy Director General, GTEC

“For us as a Commission, in all the processes leading to accreditation, our interest is whether institutions are able to demonstrate employability of their students as their primary mission in seeking accreditation. That being, in addition to meeting the basic accreditation requirements, we at GTEC believe that technical universities should be well positioned to execute a more aggressive employability agenda shaped in a stronger-industry alignment. Let me state for the avoidance of doubt, that technical universities are not and should not be posited as traditional universities. We, as technical universities, are structured with the focus of applying technology to the various fields of teaching and learning rather than the search of new knowledge. Our modus operandi is a structured curriculum alignment with industry needs. Hence, it will not be worth the tax payer's money to ran programmes whose graduates are unemployable”, he said.

Dr. Abdulai used the occasion to congratulate Takoradi Technical University for its outstanding performance in an empirical study conducted by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group on the topic; Creating Marketing Markets, Creating Opportunities.

“In this study, TTU ranked best, thus having:
-A structured approach curriculum review through department advisory
board made up of industry representatives and faculty members
-High percentage of faculty with industry experience
-Strong industry partnership development and Substantial support to employer engagement”, he added.

The Deputy Director General also said GTEC in-line with its regulatory function in collaboration with other key stakeholders is already taking steps to constitute the new Councils of all tertiary institutions in Ghana to enable them work towards their mandate without hindrances.

Giving his report at the 6th congregation, the Vice Chancellor of TTU, Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun said the university had no choice than to hold the 6th Congregation virtually following the worsening threat of COVID-19, with the exception of first class students who had the opportunity to have face-to-face graduation ceremony.

Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun-Vice Chancellor, TTU

“The University successfully turned out 4,218 graduands including 6 Master of Technology degrees, 1,131 Bachelor of Technology degrees, 2,348 Higher National Diplomas, 420 non-tertiary diplomas and 255 Competency Based HND. The University’s quest to offer all-inclusive education has seen the admission of students with special needs (deaf and dumb and other physical disability). Twenty-one(21) students with disability are graduating, that is 16 with hearing challenges (deaf students) and 5 students with recognized physical disability.“, he said.

Touching on staff development which is key to attaining the university’s five-year strategic plan, the Vice Chancellor said the University has a steady staff development agenda to help build the capacity of its staff and commended GNPC Foundation for its support.

“A total of sixty-four (64) staff members have been granted study leave (local and abroad) in the year under review. Thus 16 PhDs, 26 Masters, 5 Bachelors, 13 HNDs and 4 on various professional programmes… I thank GNPC foundation for supporting the University’s staff development agenda this year with a sponsorship package worth Ghc344,991”, he said.

In the area of learning and training, Professor Eshun said the university is retooling and partnering with relevant institutions in Ghana and beyond as well as industry to achieve its mandate especially in its niche area of petroleum.

“The supply of Internet has been improved to provide uninterrupted internet access to the University. The University has procured 250 computers, 28 projectors and other equipment to retool all its laboratories and classrooms for the next academic year. Takoradi Technical University has also signed MoU with Petroleum Commission to train one hundred and fifty (150) Ghanaian youth who are beneficiaries of the governments flagship accelerated oil and gas capacity building programme. This training is very strategic to build capacity to boost local content participation in the petroleum industry…TTU also received 70,000 Euro grant from SIEMENS for the establishment of SIEMENS’ Laboratory to train staff and students in siemens related equipment”, he added.

Professor Eshun noted that in an effort to make TTU visible globally, the university is prioritizing research development with special funding support as well as ranking of faculties based on research.

“The University has embarked on vigorous research activities aimed at equipping staff to appreciate the contribution of research to the ranking and visibility of universities. From next academic year, faculties will be ranked according to their contributions to research and grants. The outstanding faculty and staff members will be awarded. We believe this will promote access to grants since every lecturer is expected to be a fund raiser to support the institution as well as promoting research among faculty members…In-line with this, TTU has secured 500,000 USD grant for Solar energy training centre to train staff and students in solar energy projects as well as a grant donation by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) for the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science”, he noted.

The Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, whose address was delivered on his behalf by the Western Regional Coordinating Council Director, Frederick Agyemang, praised TTU for its commitment to STEM education but urged management to introduce annual TTU Tech-Expos to challenge students and faculties to innovate from their research.

“As the largest Technical University in Ghana, the time has come for TTU to stand to be counted in the search for innovations to address Ghana’s numerous developmental challenges. All around the world, universities just like TTU have become the incubation hub for development of, ntechnologies that solves everyday problems of society and nations. Research is good but research that does not translate into tangibles or usable products and services that address everyday problems of society is not worth the time and expenditures incurred on. It is on this score that I challenge TTU to introduce annual Tech-Expos to exhibit innovations by students and faculties to ginger students to challenge themselves on ways to help shape society with technology. This is the only way the investments government is making into Technical education can be justified and be relevant to the country. The government through the Ministry of Education and relevant stakeholders is also committed to embracing such Tech-expos and ensuring that the innovators and their innovations are given the necessary push to commercialize them for societal use“, he said.

On his part, the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah said TTU has shown a lot of seriousness to its mandate hence he is ever ready to push the agenda of TTU for government’s attention. The Regional Minister assured the University of immediately fixing the road to TTU’s new campus at Akatakyi to help decongest the main campus for better academic work.

Deserving graduands received various cash and prizes with sponsorship from GLICO, Stanbic Bank and others.

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