According to the church history, in 1843, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana established the first primary school in the country. This sparked off a series of bold, visionary and pioneering initiatives in the development of education in the country. Five years later, it established the Presbyterian Training College (PTC) at Akropong, the second higher educational institution in West Africa after Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone. Since those early beginnings, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has established and managed, in partnership with the Government of Ghana , hundreds of primary schools, many high schools and colleges of education.
These schools and colleges, guided by the proverbial Presbyterian discipline, set very high moral as well as educational standards, which have characterized the Presbyterian Education tradition. Also in partnership with government, the church has provided and managed Professional, Technical and Vocational Institutions in a wide range of fields including Agriculture and Health. Specifically, the church has established 1,886 schools comprising 490 Nurseries, 973 Primary Schools, 388 Junior High Schools, five (5) Vocational Institutes, five (5) Colleges of Education and 25 Senior High Schools.
With the establishment of the Presbyterian Training College (PTC), it was hoped that, like the Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone, it might one day be upgraded to a university. However, after several years, it was not until 1996 that the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana at that time took the bold decision to initiate steps into establishing a university. The body charged with pushing forward this initiative, the Presbyterian University Implementation Committee, was formally established in 1998. It is through these efforts and the determination of the Church that the Presbyterian University College, Ghana has come into being.
The Vision of the Presbyterian University College is envisaged as “an institution that blends and instils academic and professional excellence with an appreciation of cultural, technological, environment and globalisation trends in the men and women who pass through it and whose lives reflect Christian principles and values, including love and compassion, discipline, honesty, selflessness and humility”.
The Presbyterian University College, Ghana, is conceived as a response to the challenge presented by the high demand for student admission in Ghanaian Universities (low access), the perceived lowering of academic standards and the erosion of moral and ethical values in the Ghanaian Society. It will relate its programmes to the developmental needs of Ghana in the 21st Century, in terms of training, research, extension and service. .It will identify and fill important niches in the development of higher education in the country.
The main concepts are as follows:
- The College is open to all students and staff without discrimination on the basis of religion, race, ethnic origin or gender
- It is a fee-paying institution, with a mechanism to promote sponsorship for needy students.
- It is a multi-campus university with its first campus at Abetifi, second campus at Akropong and the third campus at Agogo.
- The College will take advantage of the cool, semi-temperate weather to attract external students and to promote a broad agricultural programmes.
- The College is non-residential for both staff and students; the university will promote the development of hostels for students and staff housing through private enterprise.
- Initial faculties will be Business Administration, and Information and Communication Technology at Abetifi.
- The College will gradually introduce Science and Technology, Humanities, Languages, Theology and Mission Studies, Health and Medical Studies such as Nursing, Medicine and Dentistry (as indicated elsewhere in this handbook) in accordance with the University’s Strategic Plan.
- An Outreach Centre is planned to co-ordinate the identification, elaboration and management of specific practical, multi-disciplinary developmental projects in communities outside campus.
The mission of the University is " to design and implement academic and professional programmes of teaching basic and applied research and outreach."
The objectives of the College are:
- Promote the balanced pursuit of the humanities, the basic sciences, and the development, application and management of technology.
- Provide professional training that enhances socio-economic development
- Nurture innovation and entrepreneurial skills as ways of harnessing local and regional resources.
- Operationalize local, regional and global needs assessment as the basis for practical outreach programmes in the local and regional communities.
- Prepare men and women who will apply their advanced learning skills in the service of the church, country and humanity.
- Produce individuals who remain self-motivated in the realisation of their responsibility to God, their fellow citizens and to the state.
- Inculcate ethical and intellectual values that manifest in courage, discipline, fair play, self motivation and respect for the dignity of an honest life.