The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, has inspected work on facilities at the University of Cape Coast and the Cape Coast Technical University.
The visit last Thursday was to assess the readiness of the institutions to receive the anticipated huge influx of students expected next academic year with the completion of the products of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
He said facilities for the sciences in particular, including laboratories and lecture halls which were crucial and most sensitive in terms of national and institutional priorities, should receive prioritised attention.
Prof. Yankah commended the institutions for the several initiatives undertaken in spite of challenges with stalled projects and further commended them for using their internally generated funds optimally for new projects in anticipation of the numbers.
He said the projects would certainly offset what would have been a huge infrastructural deficit as products of the Free SHS policy sought admission in the 2020/21 academic year.
He noted that there were three out of the 11 projects, which included the faculty of science annex and the business school complex, that needed urgent attention.
Prof. Yankah said the inspection gave his ministry a sense of relief, adding: "Cape Coast is a fairly good story to tell by way of preparations that universities are making towards the huge influx of students we are expecting for the 2020 and beyond academic year."
The UCC has 11 projects that need to be completed to ease the pressure of numbers expected.
Prof. Yankah indicated for instance that two major monumental lecture halls with a capacity of about 9,000 were under construction to address the infrastructural challenges.
He gave an assurance that the government would do all it could to ensure all projects, many of which started about five years ago, were continued and completed to ensure that the much anticipated 2020 admissions took off on a good note.
The Vice-Chancellor of UCC, Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, said the projects needed to be completed if they were to admit more students.
“We need to complete these facilities if we are to admit more students," he stated.
The Vice-Chancellor of the CCTU, Prof. Danso Owusu Sekyere, said the university had hostel accommodation facilities for only 10 per cent of the students, adding that the school needed more hostels.
He called for the completion of the three GETFund projects, particularly the auditorium which had the capacity to accommodate the anticipated numbers.