The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has launched two new Centres of Excellence as part of moves to expand its academic and research capacities.
The new additions are the Centre for Practical and Multi-disciplinary Legal Education and Training (CPMLET), and the Centre for Peace and Security Research (CPSR).
While the CPMLET through its multi-disciplinary outlook in programmes will integrate theoretical, p
ractical as well as innovative approaches to academic legal education, the CPSR will provide graduates with specialised skills to identify, analyse and respond to emerging complex security challenges facing Ghana and the West African sub-region.
Speaking at the launch of the two Centres on Wednesday, 19th February 2020, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Charles Barnor, said the establishment of the Centres forms part of the University’s vision to inspire professionalism, leadership, research and advocacy in the various disciplines of study.
To achieve the vision, Professor Barnor said the Centres have been tasked to design academic programmes that combine Law and management sciences with business specialisation as well as courses that address contemporary security challenges with much focus on industry trends and demands.
“UPSA has always responded to the sophistication and trends in industry and this has provided cutting-edge academic programmes which have received high demands over the years,” he said.
Jurist and Legal Consultant, Justice Julia Sarkodie-Mensah, who chaired the event, commended the Management of the University for being the pacesetters in churning out innovative academic programmes which address the needs of society.
The former Judge said the ‘novel’ combination of law and other disciplines was going to change the legal education landscape in Ghana by making it appropriate and relevant for the 21st-century student.
She explained that the multi-disciplinary approach to legal education by UPSA will enable law students to develop their knowledge, insight and problem-solving skills while building their confidence when they delve into other areas.
“Pursuing a law degree with another discipline (like business and finance) and with a practical approach as it is anticipated, prepares law graduates for the world out there,” she said. “It enables them to deepen their legal knowledge without sacrificing other interests.”
The Dean of CPMLET, Dr Godwin Adagewine noted that his outfit will not only spearhead reforms in Ghana’s legal education system but also equip students with practical and non-conventional skills through tailor-made programmes such as community lawyering, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and non-vocational legal literacy programmes for individuals who require an aspect of legal education but not necessarily to become lawyers.
Mr. Yaro Kasambata, Coordinator, CPSR, on his part, described the establishment of his Centre as timely. In stating the vision and mission of the Centre, he said, the CSPR through its researches and partnerships will propose creative solutions to Ghana’s security needs and champion advocacy that will elicit the desired change in society.
Supporting the objective of the Centre, the Director-General in charge of Administration at the Ghana Police Service, COP Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, said it is high time the nation and her citizenry prioritize issues about security.
“As people, our security consciousness is next to zero,” he lamented.
“We are [always] engulfed in trying to get everything but we [often] forget about the one thing that will make us live to enjoy the things we are chasing,” he said.
COP Dampare explained that without security, it is impossible to achieve the socio-economic breakthroughs that Ghanaians seek.
The event was attended by some high profile personalities including the two Deputy Ministers of Justice and Attorney General, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame and Mr Joseph Dindiok Kpemka. Some Members of Parliament and Representatives from sister universities, security agencies, the National Peace Council and the Ghana Integrity Initiative were also in attendance.
Also present was the Registrar of the UPSA, Alhaji Dr Seidu Mustapha with some Deans, Directors and Heads of Departments.