The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) at the weekend held its first session of the Seventh Congregation, where 826 students graduated.
Of the number, 799 were undergraduates, with the remaining being post-graduates from Leeds Becket University, United Kingdom, and other non-regular students.
The UHAS School of Pharmacy already had 30 as foundation graduates, while the School of Medical Imaging also graduated its first batch of regular students.
Professor Lidya Aziato, the Vice Chancellor, of UHAS, who attended her first graduation as head of the University, said it continued to show exceptional academic standing and congratulated the schools of Medicine and Pharmacy for graduating with 100 per cent passes.
She said the Institute of Traditional and Alternative Medicine was enjoying growing stakeholder partnerships to enhance its contributions to national development, and that the University would require more support to maintain the growth tangent.
Prof. Aziato said 7,903 students were registered for the 2022/23 academic year, and that the 864 staff strength was inadequate.
She said infrastructure expansion also remained minimal although it was a major need.
“The infrastructural needs of UHAS are crucial. Several of the schools are not available, and there are more than 3,000 qualified students for where we can only admit 150,” she said.
“Hostel accommodation only takes 2000, so we need support for hostels for our students. We have the land, but we don’t have the money”.
Development of the over 700-acre land for the University’s main campus at Sokode Lokoe is within the second phase, expected to be completed early next year to provide permanent structures for the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Central Administration.
The University has no library and ICT complex, while a mega central laboratory complex is entering the tenth year of construction amidst growing needs for advanced laboratory facilities for the prime health research institution.
“The lab complex is a very critical need of the University, and although the contractor is back on the site, progress is very slow,” the VC noted.
She, however, said the Korean Government was supporting the digitisation of the library while collaborations with the USA, India, and the Netherlands would support other facilities, including a summer school to facilitate exchange programmes.
UHAS had recently been recognised by an international entrepreneur platform; 28 Credentials of Entrepreneur, and has also received numerous support from corporate Ghana and the SRC for infrastructural development.
The VC asked the graduates to uphold the flair of the University and seek to “look back to support the university.”
“We are very proud of our graduating class. You should bear the torch high, and you should not forget to contribute to developing the University. Graduates are the light of the University. If you shine, the University also shines.”
“I wish to kindly request that our stakeholders set up scholarship schemes for students and staff. Some faculties need support for PHDs and should be supported.”
Justice Victor Mawulorm Dotse, Chairman of the University Council, said the graduation had been affected by industrial strikes and that the university must ensure all graduated the same year they completed for timely access to the job market.
Mr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education, said the Government’s quest to increase tertiary education enrolment from the present 20 per cent to 40 per cent was progressing and acknowledged the contribution of budding young institutions such as the UHAS.
Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority, urged health professionals to always be prepared towards disease outbreaks, as they remained uncertain and evasive.
Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of Asogli State, who was the Special Guest of Honour, spent close to an hour sharing life empowerment nuggets with the students, asking them to build on their critical thinking skills acquired from the school.
He donated 50,000 Ghana cedis in support of the UHAS Endowment Fund.
The ceremony was well attended with 1200 capacity auditorium being inadequate to contain the past leaders of the University, local and international partners, political leadership, students and family members.