The Tarkwa campus of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) has enrolled 1,062 new students into various degree programmes.
Out of the figure, 71 percent are males and 29 percent are females.
At the postgraduate level, 167 students were admitted bringing the total number to 426, representing 13 percent of the total student population, which currently stands at 3,279.
The University admitted only sixteen foreign students this year and hope to increase the number in the coming years.
Speaking to the students at the 16th matriculation ceremony, which was held in two batches as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah, reiterated that the University would continue with the gender mainstreaming policy until it achieves 50 percent female participation.
He said this year UMaT in collaboration with the Ministry of Railways Development had started the school of Railways and Infrastructure Development at Essikado in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.
“The students have settled and ready to let Sekondi-Takoradi and Essikado in particular, have a feel of what UMaT has to offer,” he stated.
Prof. Amankwah observed that UMaT pride themselves in the uniqueness of their products, encouraged the students to become part of this special group of people who picked superior skills on campus and graduate to influence society in many positive ways.
As a recognized institution of higher learning with specialization
in mining, petroleum, allied engineering and management science education, the University sought to challenge their students to discover their potentials and achieve the highest levels of intellectual capabilities and personal growth to meet industrial and professional needs of this country, the Vice Chancellor explained.
He pointed out that to deepen this uniqueness, they would establish the School of Sustainable Development, in addition to Environmental, Occupational Health and Safety Engineering, programme in Forestry and Landscape Engineering as well as Waste and Resource Engineering.
Prof. Amankwah added that UMaT would introduce a course in the practice of engineering where students would engage artisans in their respective communities and apprenticeship to improve on their creativity, embrace challenges and prepare for the world of work.
In addition to the hard-core engineering courses, he said they would also institute courses on Critical Thinking and Integrated Thought, Financial Education and Leadership, to improve upon the quality of their products.
The Vice Chancellor further indicated that in the next academic year, the university would begin professional doctorate programmes to encourage practicing engineers and experts to earn higher degrees in their respective fields.
On financial aid, Prof Amankwah stressed that the students support and counseling unit of the University had taken a central role in facilitating funding opportunities for students to reduce the barrier that limit students access to education in UMaT.
He expressed appreciation to the Chamber of Mines Tertiary Education Fund, Ghana National Petroleum Company Foundation, Baker Hughes, Gold Fields Foundation, Barclays Bank, Total Petroleum Company and others for their generosity over the years.
According to him, “UMaT also gave bursaries to every fee-paying students to make accepting fee-paying admission easier for many Ghanaian families,” adding that, “Student Loan Trust Fund was also available”.
He entreated students facing financial challenges to apply for the funding opportunities.
He emphasised that globally, academic activities have been critically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vice Chancellor said “according to the United Nations, the pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents”.
He said the combination of virtual and face-to-face interactions as practiced on campus was aimed at reducing close contact and spread of the disease.
Prof. Amankwah advised students to cooperate with the University to keep the pandemic out of the campus by wearing their masks, washing their hands regularly, practice social distancing and boost their immune system by eating good food and taking vitamins.