GTEC Halts Accreditation of New Programs at Public Universities Until 2024

In a significant development aimed at enhancing the quality assurance of tertiary education in Ghana, the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) has announced the suspension of the processing of new accreditation applications for academic programs from all public universities, including the technical universities. This suspension will take immediate effect and continue until January 1, 2024.

Notably, this decision excludes the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) located in Somanya, Eastern Region, from the suspension.

GTEC has explained that this temporary halt in accreditation proceedings is a response to the ongoing issue of certain institutions failing to meet the accreditation requirements mandated by the nation. In a communication distributed to all public universities, Mr. John Dadzie Mensah, the Director of Accreditation at GTEC, clarified that any public university wishing to submit a new program accreditation application after December 31, 2023, must first demonstrate that all their existing programs are in good standing with valid accreditation status before the new application will be considered.

Mr. Mensah underscored that this directive is not an indictment of public universities in general. In fact, he acknowledged that most public universities have been diligent in adhering to the accreditation processes, particularly those institutions with a relatively smaller number of programs.

Explaining the intricacies of the accreditation process, Mr. Mensah highlighted that programs are typically submitted for accreditation at various times, leading to overlapping accreditation periods. He noted that both active and non-active accreditation statuses for programs within an institution can overlap due to the continuous nature of the accreditation process. In essence, programs are continuously up for re-accreditation as accreditation periods expire, and new applications are submitted for fresh accreditation or re-accreditation.

To mitigate such overlaps, Mr. Mensah emphasized the importance of institutions initiating the re-accreditation process at least one full year before their active accreditation expires. He stressed that the quality assurance processes necessary for accreditation approval require time, and thus careful planning is essential.

The exemption granted to the UESD stems from its status as a nascent educational institution. Given its early stage of development, UESD is encouraged to introduce additional programs as it establishes itself within the educational landscape.

Mr. Mensah elucidated the rationale behind this decision, citing public concerns that have arisen following recent publications of the Auditor-General’s Reports on the accreditation status of programs at some public universities. He emphasized the need for a pause to assess the situation and inform the best practices for both regulators and educational institutions.

While acknowledging that the suspension may pose operational challenges for affected institutions, Mr. Mensah described it as a necessary measure to uphold the quality and integrity of Ghana’s tertiary education system.

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