Established in 2002, Ashesi University, the privately run tertiary institution will celebrate its decade of existence in March 2012. They haven't been around for so long as compared to the 3 main state sponsored universities in Ghana. Ashesi was started off in Labone-Accra, where residential bungalows were literally converted to lecture theatres to create a space for learning. Today, Ashesi can boast of a newly constructed world class university campus in Berekuso in the Akuapim Hills of the Eastern Region. Below, i share with you beautiful pictures of Ashesi's newest facility that will be inaugurated this month.
Its quite refreshing see the pictures knowing where it all began in relation to current university students agitation against increased fees vis-a-vis the problem of accommodation, which has always been a constant feature of Ghana's tertiary education. Ashesi maybe a little expensive with a far lower student population that comes no where near the splitting over-population of the University of Ghana, University of CapeCoast and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, established many decades ago. Relatively, with the much longer existence of these public universities, the facilities have not been improved and expanded to take care of increasing student population at the turn of every academic year. The point is that, the public universities earn more in revenue from the student body in addition to subsidies from the State, they should be able to do more than just increasing fees every year without any commensurate improvement in facilities.
I didn't attend Ashesi, but i have a little experience with school that i want to share with you. I remember going to the, Labone campus a couple of months after completing Senior High School to pick up a glossy student's catalogue/application form for free, they were barely a year old. At the time and even now, applying to attend a public university with good grades was uncertain, there was a trend were some students applied(not free application) to all 3 state universities to count their chances. Students who left Senior High School had to queue up a year or two to gain admission.
Private universities were invariably non-existent. Ashesi was new and had its fees quoted in dollars, $2,500 per semestre for tuition for a 4yr undergraduate program. A couple of days after picking up the student's catalogue, i had a call, on the other end the speaker introduced himself as Patrick Awuah. The founder of Ashesi University was trying to follow up, he inquired why i had not forwarded my application. Though he understood that my sponsor's could not afford, he promised Ashesi would offer me scholarship if my financiers could take up part of the cost. I didn't press my financiers because attending a public school in those days was more fashionable and [still] cheaper. Currently there are many private universities in Ghana and Ashesi stands out tall. I attended a public university, if i had gone to Ashesi, i wouldn't have bothered struggling with hundreds of course mates to fit into a lecture hall whose capacity was being over-stretched, making learning itself strenuous.
But i believe that education, at any level, must be accessible and affordable to all
Take a look at the new Ashesi University campus. Do you have any experiences with either private or a public institution? Please share with us.