The Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA) has joined calls for the withdrawal of the controversial Public University Bill into passage.
According to President of the Association, Kwabena Antwi-Konadu, content of the Bill does not bode well for administrators of universities and the entire university structure.
In an interview with Citi News, Antwi-Konadu explained, “Although GAUA being included is important to us, as we see the Bill now, it’s better the passage is shelved somewhere. The Bill shouldn’t be passed.”
He added that recommendations submitted on the passage of the Bill by GAUA and other stakeholders have since not been considered by the government.
“As a critical group in university management and administration, we are extremely surprised, worried, and disappointed about the deliberate attempt to sideline GAUA as a key stakeholder in university governance and operations,” he stressed.
He continued, “This could even be seen clearly in the composition of the proposed Council which has all the Unions on our campuses representing except GAUA. This is very unfortunate, unfair, discriminatory, and utmost disregard for GAUA, the most critical group when it comes to university governance and administration to be treated this way.”
The passage of the Public University Bill was earlier in November this year, withdrawn after public outcry and displeasure by some university teachers’ unions and the Minority in Parliament.
Despite the calls and suggestions for a withdrawal, the Bill however was re-laid in Parliament in a bid to harmonise the finances, administration and governance structure of public universities in Ghana.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, the House approved the Bill at a second reading stage but was later suspended yet again following concerns by the Minority in Parliament.
Public Universities Bill
The Public Universities Bill (PUB) was introduced in 2017 and has since courted controversy from university teacher unions, Minority in Parliament and a section of the public.
According to the sponsor of the Bill, the Ministry of Education, PUB seeks to harmonise the finances, administration and governance structure of public universities in Ghana.
When passed, the Bill will also grant the government of Ghana the authority to appoint the majority of members of the University Council.
The University Council will then have the authority to appoint and dismiss public university officials at any given period of their tenure.
The passage of the bill will also give the President the power to dissolve the University Council which will now have the power to appoint a chancellor.