University accommodation in free SHS times: UPSA on right path
Work on the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) 10-storey hostel facility to help address the accommodation deficit is ongoing with jet-speed, in line with the Vice-Chancellor of the university’s vision.
Through his introduction of prudent cost management measures, the university was able to pay off five-year loans in 2 years, thereby enabling the commencement of ambitious new infrastructure projects.
It is the vision of Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey to work assiduously to solve the imminent accommodation problem as the university aims at attracting more of the best Ghanaian and international students and expects to welcome top students from government’s Free SHS initiative.
FT Global Investment Ltd, the Contractors working on the 416-bedroom project that will accommodate some 1,600 students who otherwise would not have campus accommodation are working round the clock to meet the project timelines. The project was awarded to FT Global Investment by Access Bank, which is financing the Design, Build and Transfer deal with the UPSA.
The deal for the construction of the hostel facility sailed through as a result of Prof. Amartey’s resolve to continuous improvement on the infrastructure of UPSA.
It will be recalled that the Vice-Chancellor who has been in office since 2017 completed the state-of-the-art 3,550 capacity auditorium with underground parking and Student Centre to enhance world-class standards.
The continued rapid expansion of UPSA’s infrastructure has seen the construction of the recently completed AstroTurf football pitch. Construction of other new facilities have also commenced including two gigantic twin 10-storey multi-purpose buildings and another hostel block.
The Vice-Chancellor has also refined the culture of maintenance in the university. Both new and existing structures and / or facilities remain in good shape. Conditions in lecture halls have been improved tremendously including the provision of additional projectors, Smart Podiums, public address systems and lecture hall furniture.
A visit to the hostel facility’s construction site indicates that work is within schedule although there were issues that nearly delayed the project.
The project is expected to be completed in December 2021 and at the time of our visit, there were over 62 workers on site.
The Contractor, FT Global Investment is not compromising on quality and is working in tandem with UPSA’s technical and Total Quality Management team.
Project Manager of FT Global Investment, Mr. Reuben Akumienu, told the media that the company’s working standards were very high. On safety, he said ‘’FT Global does not compromise on safety and as a result, reinforcement, best practices and structural integrity is our hallmark. Safety and security of the workers on the project is also assured.”
Mr. Akumienu said that the steady progress and the speed with which FT Global Investment is working, the project would be completed as scheduled.
A visit to the site of the second Hostel facility under construction shows that it is also progressing steadily. The 396 room hostel is also expected to be completed by end of 2021 and the contractors, Top International, assured us they are working within Schedule.
To complement the infrastructural development, UPSA has also enhanced security on and around its main campus and the hostels. In the past, the UPSA road had a reputation for frequent robbery attacks within the university campus’ environs and nearby hostels. These incidents have been reduced drastically with the recruitment of more competent private security personnel and the provision of solar streetlights all the way from the main campus to the hostel facilities and beyond. This has reduced the incidents around the UPSA area.
UPSA is one of the fastest-growing universities and has been ranked among the top universities in the world in the 2020 U-Multirank global universities rankings.
It is the only Ghanaian university to be on the global rankings that assess universities on a multi-dimensional approach to higher education, including teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, regional engagement and international orientation.
The University of Professional Studies Accra, in that ranking, emerged strongest in teaching and learning. Its overall profile shows top performance across various indicators, with two ‘A’ (very good) scores overall.
Credit: Graphic Online