…Prez. Tells Universities; As He Inducts Chinery-Hesse As New Chancellor For UG
President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged the newly inducted Chancellor of the University of Ghana and all heads of the country’s tertiary institutions, to begin making adequate preparations towards admitting increased population of students who will be seeking admission in some two years, as a result of the Free Senior High School policy.
He gave this advice when he sworn in Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse as the 10th Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon.
According to the President the Free Senior High School policy will be a permanent feature of the educational architecture and therefore universities and other tertiary institutions need to prepare adequately towards that, saying “the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today”.
Nana Akufo-Addo pledged government’s commitment and continued support to the University of Ghana, and all other universities in the country, expecting that the University of Ghana will continue to produce graduates, who are moulded to take on the opportunities and possibilities for higher achievement, through innovation and creativity, in today’s science and technology-led, knowledge-driven global economy.
Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse’s induction however makes her the first female Chancellor of the university, succeeding former UN boss Kofi Annan, who served for 10 years and she is expected to serve the university for 5 years.
She is a product of the University and one of the prominent figures of the United Gold Coast Convention, the first nationalist party, UGCC and one of the first female alumna of the University.
According to the President, her predecessor, Mr. Kofi Annan, who served the two terms of his mandate, had delivered an invaluable service to the nation for which he will be remembered.
“It is not every day that one picks up the mantle of leadership from such as Mr. Kofi Annan So, Madam Chancellor, I am sure that you know that you have your work cut out for you. Nonetheless, I believe the University could not have picked a worthier successor than you,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo also averred that her wealth of experience as Chief Director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Member of the Governing Council of the University, Advisor to the 2nd President of the 4th Republic, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor should ensure a seamless transition, and put her in good stead to help spur on the University onto “even greater heights.”
On her part, Mrs Chinery-Hesse promised to use her experience to develop the university and raise the standard of learning at the country’s premier tertiary institution.
She said: “I promise to bring to bear as well, as the Chancellor, the formidable skills I have garnered in my many international interventions… We will confront the problems and I assure everybody that all will be amicably resolved.”
She said her vision for the university is “rooted in Ghanaian and African realities and want to create an institution which is authoritative in research on Ghana and Africa at the highest level of quality by any international measure,” and commended the strides made by past Chancellors and the improvement in the gender ratio that saw the recording of high female students over the years.
Mrs Chinery-Hesse said the university wishes to create a “home” welcoming to scholars of international standard from all over the world and from a rich variety of cultures”.
She also lauded the president for introducing some key educational reforms which she described as key interventions that will improve the education sector.