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, Ghana has come into being.
The Presbyterian University, Ghana, is envisaged as “A University of excellence which blends modern trends that reflect Christian principles.”
The mission of the University is;
‘‘To design and implement relevant academic and Professional programmes of teaching, research and outreach for a global population within the context of Christian ethics that produce holistic human development.’’
The objectives for which the University is founded are:
- To provide for and promote University education, learning and research,
- To acquire and disseminate knowledge and information,
- To foster relationships with other institutions of higher learning, per sons and bodies.
- To produce disciplined, self-motivated individuals and leaders with moral and intellectual values in the realization of their responsibilities to God, fellow citizens and the state.
Without prejudice to the generality of its powers, the University shall be guided by the following principles in the realization of its objectives:
- that in determining the courses and programmes to be taught emphasis shall be placed on a balanced pursuit of the humanities, the basic sciences, the development, application and management of technology, which are of special relevance to the needs and aspirations of Ghanaians in particular, and others in general;
- that higher education in this University shall be available to all Ghanaians and others who are capable of benefiting from it;
- that research shall be undertaken in all courses which are taught in the University but with attention to courses which relate to the social, cultural, economic, scientific, technical and other problems which exists in Ghana or elsewhere in Africa;
- that the fruits of research and knowledge generally shall be spread abroad by the publication of books and papers and by any other suitable means;
- that students shall be taught methods of critical and independent thought, while being made aware that they have a responsibility to use their education for the service of the Church, country and humanity;
- that as far as practicable the students shall be trained to be innovative and entrepreneurial to enhance socio- economic development;
- that the University shall operationalize local, regional and global needs assessment as the basis for practical and multi-disciplinary outreach programmes in the local and regional communities;
- that the University shall inculcate in the student ethical, moral and intellectual values that manifest in courage, discipline, fair play, self motivation and respect for the dignity of an honest life.
The Presbyterian University 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 and beyond, 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 University 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.
- The University will take advantage of the cool, semi-temperate weather in some of its locations to attract external students and to promote a broad agricultural programme.
- Owing to the location of some of the Campuses, the University will be residential for both staff and students; the university will however promote the development of hostels for students and staff housing through private enterprise.
The University will gradually introduce programmes in the social sciences, the humanities, science and technology, languages, theology and mission studies, health and medical studies such as nursing, medicine and dentistry in accordance with the University’s Strategic Plan.