Channel More Funds into Research- Prof. John Owusu Gyapong Throws Challenge to UCC

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), Ho, Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, has challenged  the University of Cape Coast to channel more funds into research to enhance its visibility.

Prof. Gyapong noted that UCC could only become relevant as a world class university and feature in the Global Higher Education rankings if substantial investments was made in research. 

Prof. Gyapong threw the challenge when he delivered the keynote address at the Third Research Awards and Grants Ceremony held under the auspices of the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) at the School of Medical Sciences Auditorium.

 Underscoring the importance of research, he said most leading universities in the world earned their reputation and visibility through ground breaking research. He said most of the world these universities no more rely on government and academic facility as sources of funding, stressing that “They survive through proceeds from the use of their Intellectual Property, consultancy services and research and grants award”.  He made mention of the establishment of two Centres of Excellence in West Africa at the University of Ghana which were funded by the World Bank at a cost of $ 16 million through grant.

The Vice-Chancellor of UHAS was worried that UCC has not been able to carve a niche for itself in terms of  its research focus in Ghana’s  education . “As the premier university of education in Ghana, much has not been heard from UCC as far as education issues in the country is concerned. UCC should be a force to reckon with when it comes to education matters in the country,” he observed.  He reffered to the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana which had now become an authority through its yearly report on the state of the Ghanaian economy. He said UCC could do same by coming out with an annual  report on the State of Ghana’s Education.

For UCC to be ranked as a world class University, Prof. Gyapong  called for strategic leadership from Management of the  University which led by the Vice-Chancellor to scale up research output of the University through policies, guidelines and adequate funding. He urged the University to  create training opportunities for young lecturers to build their capacities in research,  consultancy services, research and grant proposal writing, adding that “Most of the researchers in our universities are ageing”. He asked the University to appoint research administrators  and create a career path for them so that they would focus only on research. He further advised the University to push for capacity building by integrating quality in academic promotion. “UCC will go places if it gives the necessary relevance and attention to research” he admonished.

In all 24 lecturers were presented with cash and certificates at the ceremony.  Prof. Florian Carl was awarded the Best Evolved Researcher and Dr. Adeladza Kofi Amegah received the Best Evolving Researcher Award (BERA). The two awardees shared their research output and experiences at the function which was attended by policy-makers, academics, industrialists, general public and members of the University Community.

In his remarks, the Director of DRIC, Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim, explained that the award ceremony was aimed at motivating faculty members who have either shown potential to engage in impact-oriented research or have distinguished themselves in the same regard.

On the performance of UCC in terms of  research output, Prof. Annim said there were 391 faculty members who were  currently on Google Scholar. He indicated UCC needed at least 1000 publications and citations in high impact journals in order to be ranked, however, the publications of faculty members as at 2018 stood at 800.

 Prof. Annim said most faculty members relax when they attain the rank of Associate Professor or Full Professor adding that “those who take up administrative roles are not able to effectively engage in meaningful research because of the demands of  these position”.Prof. Annim therefore, called on Management of the University to put in place measures to address this challenge.

The ceremony was also used to launch the 2018-2022 Research Agenda of the University.