PRESBYTERIAN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, GHANA
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT REV. PROF EMMANUEL ADOW OBENG ON THE OCCASION OF THE 14TH MATRICULATION CEREMONY HELD AT THE
ASANTE-AKYEM CAMPUS, AGOGO ON SATURDAY 2 DECEMBER, 2016.
- The Chairperson of the Asante-Akyem Presbytery,
- The Vice President,
- The Registrar,
- The Director of Finance,
- The District Chief Executive, Asante-Akyem North District Assembly,
- Traditional Rulers
- The Clergy
- Deans and Heads of Department,
- Members of Convocation,
- Staff and Students of the Presbyterian University College, Ghana
- Parents and Guardians,
- Distinguished Invited Guests,
- Fresh men and Women
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you today, on behalf of the University Council, Senate, Management, and staff of PUCG to Agogo and to our Campus for the Fourteenth Matriculation Ceremony of the Presbyterian University College, Ghana (PUCG). I extend a special warm welcome to the Asante Akyem Presbytery Chairperson, to Nananom and the Clergy who have made time to be with us. I extend a special welcome to the Fresh Men and Women who have taken a bold and decisive decision to enrol in the various programmes of the Presbyterian University College, Ghana. Today’s ceremony is to admit these students formally into the University and the ceremony is called matriculation.
Matriculation is the traditional annual event at which the President of the University formally admits Fresh Men and Women into the University community. It is an important ceremony of initiation, after which these fresh men and women become bona fide Junior Members of the University.
The students have also sworn the matriculation oath. This oath binds all students to observe the rules and regulations of the University, to obey the President and other Officials of the University, to apply themselves diligently to their studies, to seek knowledge and truth and to promote the general good of the University. It also binds us as university management to seek the welfare of these students in whatever we do. We will hold you and ourselves to this oath.
This academic year (2015/2016), the Presbyterian University College, Ghana admitted 445 students into the various programmes and campuses. Out of this figure, 244 are males and 201 are females.
The breakdown of the number is as follows:
CAMPUS MALE (%) FEMALE (%) TOTAL (%)
Asante-Akyem 160 53.3 140 46.7 300 67.0
Okwahu 33 58.0 24 42.0 57 13.0
Tema 13 38.0 21 62.0 34 8.0
Akuapem 17 59.0 12 41.0 29 7.0
Kumasi. 21 84.0 4 16.0 25 5.0
T O T A L 244 54.8 201 45.2 445 100.0
This year’s admission figure brings two issues to the fore: first, the numbers of students admitted into our programmes are declining. These low figures are the experience of many of the private universities. Student enrolment for the private universities is simply dwindling. This prompts me to make an appeal to the National Accreditation Board that Private Universities, under the auspices of their mentor universities should be allowed to organise access courses for SHS students with grade D 7 in Mathematics and English so that they can be admitted into their chosen programmes when they pass the access courses. This will reduce the time such students spend in registering and re-writing the WASSCE, some of whom fail after several attempts. The second issue is medical and health related programmes are in high demand. This university is going to step up affiliation and accreditation processes to introduce more of these programmes like Midwifery, Optometry and Hospital Management to enable us attract more students.
The fresh men and women assembled here have made informed choice and applied for admission into PUCG. I wish to use this forum to commend them for this excellent choice and promise them that they are in for an exciting experience. However, the kind of experience will depend on the attitudes and the choices that they make whilst here.
Presbyterian University College stands for discipline. In fact, our motto is Discipline in Leadership. Let me share a few thoughts with you on the Discipline that we cherish so much.
Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience. Alternatively, it is systematic instruction given to students to train them in a craft or trade or any other activity which they are supposed to perform, or to follow a particular code of conduct or “order.” Discipline is the assertion of willpower over selfish desires and is usually understood to be synonymous with self-control-the act of controlling emotions, actions, thoughts, words and personal direction. Discipline is a process that gives training to the mind, which controls and regulates our social behaviour and inculcates in an individual values such, as politeness, humility, love, affection, and truthfulness. On the other hand, discipline is any training intended to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral, physical, or mental development in a particular direction
The aim of this university is to train students to acquire certain skills and aptitudes that will change how they think and act, that will lead to self-control, creativity, and innovation.
Discipline is important to any human society. It inculcates in the individual the ability to choose and to do what is right at all times whether somebody is watching or not. A disciplined individual is able to manage emotions, persevere against all odds, is selfless, hard working, and motivated. A disciplined person has good interpersonal relationship with others and does not enter into conflicts. He respects authority and obeys all rules and regulations. Because of these qualities, a disciplined person succeeds in his education and any other enterprise he or she undertakes. Co-operation, mutual help and respect, integration, development, unity, love, honesty, fairness and peace also characterize a community of such disciplined people. This situation can be likened to Psalm 1, which contrasts two kinds of people, each with a distinct set of life principles. A disciplined person is like that tree planted by the streams of water, which fruits and is always luxuriant. This is what we intend to achieve with you in Presbyterian University College. How do we intend to do?
First, we will stress on the core values of PUCG in whatever we do here. The core values are Discipline, Determination, Commitment, Humility, Hard Work, Integrity, Excellence, and Faith in God.
Second, we will apply the rules and regulations of this university. Let me draw your attention to a couple of them. For example, all students are on probation for the entire period of their programme of study in this university. This means that even though you have been matriculated and therefore have the privileges and rights of a student of this university, you can be withdrawn at any time for unsatisfactory academic work or misconduct. This means that you have to be on your good behaviour at all times and work diligently at your studies. This calls for regular attendance at lectures and all university functions including seminars, mid-week service, life value workshops, and talks. In fact, it is compulsory for all students to participate in all official programmes and functions of the university, Failure to abide by this regulation constitutes a gross misconduct. The students in this university have set high standards of performance in external examinations, public competitions and quizzes that, you cannot bring the standards down.
The university does not condone sexual harassment of any kind on our campuses. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature especially when this gives a student an advantage over others in terms of marks. This university will not tolerate it. I want you to bear this in mind so that should any such situation arise, I know it will not, you will have the courage to call for redress. I promise you that no student will be victimized should such a case be reported. We do not allow sexually transmitted grades here.
The university prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students on any of the university premises including hostels, academic area, and even during functions of the university or the SRC and Students Associations.
You are also expected to dress with decorum and decency. The University has a dress code and this is mandatory for all formal university events/functions including but not limited to, lectures and other official gathering and events. The way one dresses creates a certain impression about the individual and what one wears influences what others think of that person. Dressing well is in your own interest and that of the University. I will encourage you to dress well.
I wish to remind you that your main reason for being in this university is academic work. You have to learn to balance your studies with other social and spiritual commitments. This calls for proper time management on your part. We are interested in your spiritual formation but do not spend all the evenings at spiritual revivals and go to class the following morning to sleep or miss submission of your assignments. To be on course with your academic work, you have to pay clear attention to the regulations for the conduct of programmes in the Extract of the Students handbook, which has been given to you. Make those regulations part of you.
An important thing you can take advantage of, if you so wish, to improve on your academic performance, is the quiet and peaceful setting of our campuses. Apart from Kumasi and Tema, which are urban areas, the other campuses are set out in semi urban areas. The advantage in this for academic work is that there are fewer distractions here. The weather is cooler and does not sap your energy. I hope that you will take advantage of the serene towns in which we are located and perform well.
You have been in the system for some weeks already and have experienced University life. As you may have noticed, nobody is going to police you and your movements. The University environment is a place that provides an environment of both positive and negative influences. If you do not commit yourself to the tenets of discipline, you can come under certain influences that can deprive you of achieving your full potential. This will not be beneficial to you, family or society. Life at the University presents the student with a menu of choices and consequences. Choosing to live by values that honour God and your families always brings benefits to the individual. Whatever you sow you shall reap. If you put in hard work, you will reap good grades. As a Faith based institution, I trust that all of you students will seek to emulate Christ and live by his dictates.
We are highly delighted to have some Parents, Guardians, Families and Friends present at this matriculation ceremony. You have come from places, which are far and near and we wish you travelling mercies back home. The Management of the University is grateful to you for bringing your sons, daughters and wards to the Presbyterian University College, Ghana. We are conscious of your desire for PUCG to make a positive difference in the lives of your children and wards. We wish to assure you that the University will not only impart book knowledge to them, but also knowledge that bestows on the individual, the desire to live out Christian ethics. This will surely contribute immensely in putting your wards in pole positions for the future service and leadership to the motherland.
Nananom, the Clergy, many of the great universities in the world are able to perform at the levels they do because of the support the cities, towns and the people therein give them. PUCG has campuses in semi urban areas like Agogo, Abetifi, and Akropong. The university has contributed immensely to the socio-economic life of these areas. Our presence and contribution to the communities should attract the maximum support and cooperation of the civil and traditional government and people of these areas. We need the support of the chiefs and the people of Agogo, Abetifi, and Akropong because our progress is linked to your progress. We will continue to work towards achieving our goals as an institution but we need the support of our friends and all those interested in quality university education.
Finally, to the freshmen and women, remember why you here, do not forget where you are coming from, and where you intend to go in future. Eschew laziness and indiscipline. Drink from the fountain of knowledge not bottles, open your minds, choose your friends well and you will succeed. Let me remind you of Isaiah 40:31
“But they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Let this be your portion during your stay in PUCG. We wish you all the best in your upcoming End of First Semester Examinations.
Now by the powers in me vested as the President of the PUCG, I Rev. Prof. E. ADOW OBENG, do hereby matriculate you, admitting you to the privileges and responsibilities of the School and Faculties to which you have been admitted in PUCG. Congratulations and God bless you all