With the imminent entry of qualified Free SHS graduates Into Universities this year, It is anticipated that already overwhelmed universities in Ghana will be further burdened by the sharp rise in the number of qualified applicants who will be competing for places during the 2020 admissions. Not much infrastructural development has been seen in the major universities to augment this imminent influx. Universities like Kwame Nkrumah University in Science and Technology and the University of Ghana have annually suffered the complex effects of the lack of accommodation for the qualified students who gain admission.
The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) took the initiative to develop two 10-storey hostel facilities to help address the accommodation of the anticipated deficit in Campus accommodation. The projects, initiated by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abednego Amartey is progressing steadily, in line with his vision.
Through his introduction of prudent cost management measures, the university was able to pay off five-year loans in 2 years, thereby enabling the commencement of ambitious new infrastructure projects.
It is the vision of Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey to work assiduously to solve the imminent accommodation problem as the university aims at attracting more of the best Ghanaian and International students and expects to welcome top students from government’s Free SHS initiative.
FT Global Investment Ltd is the Contractors working on the 416-bedroom hostel situated about one kilometer from the Main Campus. The project, which will accommodate some 1,600 students who otherwise would not have campus accommodation are working round the clock to meet the project timelines. The project was awarded to FT Global Investment by Access Bank, which is financing the Design, Build and Transfer deal with the UPSA.
The second 10-story hostel facility under construction is also progressing. The 396 room hostel is also expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Te contractors, Top International, assured us they are working within Schedule.
As a result of Prof. Amartey’s resolve to continuous improvement on the infrastructure of UPSA. The new hostel facilities will provide accommodation for approximately 3,250 new students.
It will be recalled that Vice-Chancellor who has been in office since 2017 completed the state of the art three thousand five hundred and fifty (3,550) capacity auditorium with underground parking and a Student Centre to enhanced world-class standards. The continued rapid expansion of UPSA’s infrastructure has seen the construction of the recently completed AstroTurf football pitch. Construction of other new facilities has also commenced including two gigantic twin 10-story multi-purpose buildings and another hostel block.
The Vice-Chancellor has also refined the culture of maintenance in the university. Both new and existing structures and/or facilities remain in good shape. Conditions in lecture halls have been improved tremendously including the provision of additional projectors, Smart Podiums, public address systems, and lecture hall furniture.
A tour of the two construction sites indicates that work is within schedule and the projects are expected to be completed by December 2021.
The Contractor, speaking on behalf of FT Global Investment, the Project Manager said the contractors are not compromising on quality and they are working closely with UPSA’s technical and Total Quality Management team.
Project Manager of FT Global Investment, Mr. Reuben Akumienu, told the media that the company’s working conducts its work with the highest standards. On safety, he said ‘’FT Global does not compromise on safety and as a result, reinforcement, best practices, and structural integrity is our hallmark. The safety and security of the workers on the project is also assured.”
To complement the infrastructural development, UPSA has also enhanced security on and around its main campus and the hostels. In the past, the UPSA road had a reputation for frequent robbery attacks within the university campus’ environs and nearby hostels. These incidents have been reduced drastically with the recruitment of more competent private security personnel and the provision of solar streetlights all the way from the main campus to the hostel facilities and beyond. This has reduced the incidents around the UPSA area.
UPSA which has in recent times been in the news for appointing its first female Registrar in line with the Vice Chancellor’s diversity and gender balance values is one of the fastest-growing universities and has been ranked among the top universities in the world in the 2020 U-Multirank global universities rankings. It is the only Ghanaian university to be on the global rankings that assess universities on a multi-dimensional approach to higher education, including teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, regional engagement, and international orientation.
The University of Professional Studies Accra, in that ranking, emerged strongest in teaching and learning. Its overall profile shows top performance across various indicators, with two ‘A’ (very good) scores overall.
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