20 Students of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) have been awarded scholarship packages to further their education under the Vice-Chancellor’s Endowment Fund (VCEF) programme.
The Scholarship covers full-tuition for the 2018/2019 academic year and recipients are eligible to apply for extension based on their academic performances over the year under review.
The initiative which was launched last year aims at supporting brilliant but financially-challenged Ghanaians who desire to pursue or are pursuing undergraduate programmes in the University.
VCEF is an investment fund established for the receiving of third-party donations as well as contributions from the University community with the sole purpose of generating operating income for scholarships.
The beneficiary students are Mireille Abena Mensah, Stanley Quarshie, Adam Faishal, Bernard Agyei Asiedu, Precious Akpene Amenyoh, Enoch Agyire, Emmanuel Asiedu, Paul Dwebeng, Savior Korda and Hannah Annorbea.
The others include Emmanuel Kwaku Letsa, Benjamin Alinyo, Michael Agyemang Duah, Michelle Lamiley Mills, Freeman Edem Agorkpa, Halifax Addo-Twum, McPhelan Hope Atti, Prominent Edukor, Abigail Simon and Nana Kwaku Ofosu.
“I didn’t have any hope of furthering my education because my dad is a metal scrap dealer and don’t have a strong financial backbone to see me through tertiary (education), but thanks to the endowment fund, today my dream of becoming a politician has been revived,” said an elated Nana Kwaku Ofosu.
Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, Vice Chancellor of UPSA, said that he observed from his many years in the university that a number of students were either deferring their courses each year or eventually dropping out of school.
He explains that some of these students were not dropping out because of bad grades or were not performing well academically, but due to financial constraint. “So, upon my assumption of office as the VC, I led the discussion with the University Council and the result of that discussion is what we are all witnessing today,” he said.
Prof Amartey also feared that Ghana would lose the intellectual manpower required for national development if a high number of potential students were excluded from tertiary education on the basis of financial limitations.
The VC thus charged the beneficiaries to make the university proud by their moral and academic output, so as to serve as motivation for stakeholders to continue donating for future applicants to also benefit.
Mr Millison Narh, the Board Chair of VCEF, said the goal of the Fund was to improve access to tertiary education in the country by enabling bright and needy students to receive free undergraduate education at UPSA.
He said although the fund was targeting GH¢100 million as its seed capital within four years, it has only gathered GH¢333,000.00 so far and called on the alumni of the school and other philanthropists to support the initiative.
Mr Narh furthered hinted that the fund has prudently been invested in a 91 Days fixed deposit which attracted a total interest of GH¢65,219.37 over the period. He added that a fund Manager has also been contracted by the board to oversee the effective administration of the VCEF.
COP Dr George Akuffo Dampare, Director General, Welfare, Ghana Police Service, who is also an alumnus, commended the Vice Chancellor and the University for the initiative. He also praised them for taking steps to ensure the effective take-off of the VCEF.
“I am glad the nature of the initiative has been structured such that the ownership does not rest with the Vice-Chancellor or the University Council but virtually every group affiliated to the University. This to me is a mark of excellent leadership,” COP Dampare acknowledged.