He explained that the officials of the university have observed with dismay the over-populated nature of the various campuses of the UDS across the three Northern Regions (Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions), hence the need to take that drastic measure to ensure that there is no excessive pressure on its meager resources.
Professor Haruna who was responding to concerns raised by the UDS Alumni Association during its 2nd National Delegates Congress in Tamale, admitted the over-populated nature of the School especially at the faculty of Integrated Development Studies (IDS) in Wa.
The UDS which started academic work in September 1993 with a humble 40 students now has a population of 19,210, rising astronomically from less than 6,000 from the 2004/2005 academic year.
However, the current classroom infrastructure and hostel facilities on the various campuses including Faculties of Integrated Development Studies (IDS), Planning and Land Management (PLM) and Education, Law and Business Studies (ELBS) in Wa in the Upper West Region, Applied Sciences and Computational and Developmental Mathematics (CDM) in Navrongo in the Upper East Region, Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources in Nyankpala and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Tamale in the Northern Region are inadequate.
The Acting Registrar of the UDS, DR. A.B.T. Zakariah in an address recounting the history of the University also attributed indiscipline, examination malpractices and among others to the increased numbers of students admitted within the last few years.
Both the Vice Chancellor and Acting Registrar enjoined members of the UDS Alumni Association to try and educate prospective applicants and their parents on why authourities have decided to cut down admission in subsequent years, adding that it is not their wish to do so but due to the serious nature of the challenges at hand.
National President of the UDS Alumni Association, Felix Kofi Abagale in his welcome address, appealed to the government to honour its 2008 campaign promise of “making a special allocation from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for the accelerated development of the UDS”.
He also mentioned the establishment of the School of Allied Health Sciences with a campus at Kintampo in the Brong-Ahafo Region which the ruling government pledged to provide.
Mr. Abagale on behalf of the Association expressed their profound appreciation to President John Evans Mills for visiting the UDS campuses recently, asking him to make time to visit the oldest campus in Nyankpala in future and also attend the university’s 12 congregation this year.
Meanwhile, the 2nd National Delegates Congress of the UDS Alumni Association which was under the theme: “The role of the alumni in the development of the UDS” also discussed other issues like financing of the Third Trimester Field Practical Training Programme; the role of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, challenges of the UDS from the alumni perspective and among others.