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University of Ghana at Times Higher Education “Young Universities” Summit

University of Ghana at Times Higher Education “Young Universities” Summit

As hundreds of university leaders and industry experts from around the world gathered at the Times Higher Education Young Universities Summit in Tampa, Florida, University of Ghana was ably represented by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu.  The Summit which sought to look at the dynamism among “young universities” was held for the first time in North America at the University of South Florida.  At the same time, the Summit, which was seen both as an analysis and celebration of some of the top research universities founded over the last 70 years, also discussed challenges in competing against their older, more-established peers in areas such as recruitment, development and brand awareness.
The three-day event, provided a place to share insights and strategies on how to push the agenda of “young universities” forward, to discuss their institutions’ success as knowledge creators and their impact on the wider higher education sector.
Also in the University of Ghana’s team were Prof. Oduro Nkansah, Director of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology, and Mrs. Stella A. Amoa, Director of Public Affairs.
Making a presentation as a panelist on the session: “Young universities – stepping out from the shadows”, the discussion looked at universities that have emerged as respected world-class institutions and explored how these universities have distinguished themselves as alternative centres of excellence. Panelists were required to describe the challenges that they and their predecessors have faced in defining their institutions and whether they can maintain their distinction from their older peers as they themselves become more established.
In his presentation, the Vice-Chancellor, whose delivery was well received, gave a historical trajectory of the University of Ghana, critically assessing strategies that had afforded the University to do an introspection, such as the Visitation of the University, review of academic programmes and undertaking a review of its strategic plan, among others.  He said the University of Ghana was consistently moving towards its vision of becoming a world-class research-intensive university.  He said the University is striving to position itself on the continent and beyond to impact student success, research and community engagement.
A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, and former Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, delivered a brilliant keynote address on the theme:  Towards sustainable international university collaboration.
The session on branding brought to the fore, the need for young universities around the world to build a strong, recognizable brand and positive reputation, which are critically important considering that successful branding can help institutions attract students and faculty, build global partnerships and help universities to compete and seek out funding. Other topics focused on Reputation and attraction, advancing student access through international collaboration and a liberation education for the 21stcentury, translational research – bridging the gap from campus to community and Student Outcomes – new environments for new challenges.
The Summit also provided a full reveal of the Times Higher Education Young Universities Rankings, 2018. (Please click here for an earlier story on the ranking).
There was an opportunity to tour the USF Tampa campus, among them, the USF School of Music, The Village residential community and the Interdisciplinary Sciences Building.

USF Students at the registration desk making the familiar USF sign
The Ghana Association of Tampa Bay residents later hosted the Vice-Chancellor and his team to a reception, spearheaded by Dr. Kofi Glover, who was recently celebrated by the University of South Florida, having retired from the University after serving 47 years.  The University of Ghana continues to have mutually engaging and fruitful relationship with USF, culminating in a number of faculty collaborations.
The Vice-Chancellor and the team also had the opportunity to meet with some faculty members of the University of Ghana, who are beneficiaries of a Post-Doctoral award from the BANGA-Africa project tenable at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida: Dr. Doris Akyere Boateng (Social Work), Dr. Rabiu K.B. Asante (Sociology); Dr. Mansa Fredua-Agyemang (School of Pharmacy) and Dr. Kingsley Saa-Touh Mort (Social Work).  The “Building a New Generation of Academics in Africa” (BANGA‐Africa) Project, is a Carnegie-funded project at the University of Ghana, which aims at contributing to the attainment of a critical mass of PhD holders on our faculty, improve doctoral training and enhance the quality and volume of research outputs from the University of Ghana.

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