The Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG) has launched an endowment fund to help raise funds for the University and also satisfy one of the requirements for a Presidential Charter which will enable the University award its own degrees.
In a welcome address, the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Phillip Naameh, noted that with a Presidential Charter the Church would be able to set up more schools such as a medical school. He said that catholic education is modelled on ethics and morality adding that this was what the country needed.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Daniel Obeng-Ofori, recounted that the idea of setting up a uinversity by the church was conceived in the 1960s by the 7 Catholic Bishops that Ghana had at the time. Due to political and economic instability, the idea never saw the light of day until 2002 when the university was given accreditation by the National Accreditation Board after the idea was revived by the Bishops in 1997, he said.
In 2003, the then President of Ghana, His Excellency, John Agyekum Kufuor, inaugurated the University. It started with 3 faculties and 50 students. Currently, the University has 5 faculties and over 25 academic programmes offering diploma, undergraduate and graduate studies.
A renowned banker, Mr Albeit Essien, advised that CUCG should have a compelling reason to attract students to the university. He urged them to partner corporate entities to sponsor specific courses etc., thereby reducing the financial burden on the university.
After fifteen years of careful observation and planning, the Governing Council of CUCG have a strategic plan which has the potential to make the university the new paradigm in tertiary education in the entire sub-continent. This is a legacy project which will establish CUCG in the ranks of the Ivy League schools in the United States of America.
The needs of running a university are onerous and all institutions need external support to remain viable. The government-owned universities have recourse to subventions from public funds allocated by the government. Private universities have no recourse to such a safety net and are obliged to seek external sources of funding.
Tuition fees are simply not enough to cover the expenses involved in maintaining a university. No modern university of repute (from Ox-bridge to the Ivy Leagues and beyond) run on tuition fees alone – they all have endowment funds worth several billion US dollars, thus the compelling reason for the setting up of the fund for the CUCG.
The Executive Secretary of the National Catholic Secretariat, Mr Stephen Opon, announced the categories and rewards for the donations. He said that a donor with an amount GHC 10,000 is categorised as a friend of the University and given a certificate. Anyone who donates GHS 50,000 to the university is called a Companion of CUCG and is given a plaque.
GHC 100,000 earns a donor the title of a Fellow and comes with a statuette while a Stalwart of CUCG should have donated GHC 500,000 with a wall carving as the reward. A donor who gives the amount of GHC 100,000 is awarded Membership of the Fraternity of the Lamp and the person’s name inscribed on a Memorial.