The University of Ghana has clashed with the Ministry of Education over the latter’s directive for public universities to adhere to a 15 percent increment in fees for the new academic year, and refund excess payments to students.
While the Education Ministry insists that the public universities should charge only the 15 percent increment as directed by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) in line with the fees approved by Parliament for the 2022/2023 academic year, the University of Ghana describes the Ministry’s directive as illegal.
The directive comes after the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, held a meeting with the management of some of the universities and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) on Thursday over agitations that some universities including the University of Ghana were charging more than the approved fees.
After the meeting, Dr. Adutwum directed the University of Ghana to adhere to the approved rate.
Speaking for the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, a member of the university’s communication team, however, said only the Minister of Finance has the power to give such an order, and that in the present circumstance, the university cannot honor the directive.
“It is important for us to point out the fact that in the fees and charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2022 (Act 1080), the only minister that is given the authority over fees is the Minister of Finance and not the Education Minister,” he stressed.
According to him, the University of Ghana did no wrong as it calculated the 15% on the approved fees for 2019, which was not implemented in subsequent years due to general economic challenges.
“The University of Ghana has done what is within the law and any directive that insists we do the contrary will be asking us to be perpetuating illegality. With the greatest of respect to the Education Minister, he cannot order public universities to do what is illegal. We haven’t done anything, and we are not ready to do any illegal thing at this moment.”
He added that the tag of insensitivity cannot be used against the University of Ghana because the institution has financially friendly measures to help students to meet their needs in relation to fee payment.
“Previously, students were required to pay seventy percent of their fees before they are allowed to register, but we had to reduce that to fifty percent, so they can pay. Even beyond this arrangement, we have the Students’ Financial Office that is willing to provide financial support to brilliant but needy students.”