With the liberalisationn of tertiary education, there has been an upsurge in private university colleges in the country. This has led to the opening up of the tertiary sector thus increasing access to university education by a significant percentage.
With this however comes the responsibility of ensuring high academic standards. In this respect, the regulating bodies, namely, the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the National Accreditation Board (NAB) are mandated by law to ensure that the right standards are maintained.
By the regulation as established by the NCTE through the NAB, private tertiary institutions are to seek affiliation from a chartered State university to be mentored. This mentorship is expected to provide direction and tutorship to the new private universities to develop the appropriate systems and structures that will enable them to deliver at the
In the light of this, chartered State universities are required to play their part in offering to accept private university colleges for mentorship. This way the NAB can grant a private a private university college the accreditation to mount academic programmes.
In the light of the foregone, the KNUST finds itself in the thick of affiliation affairs. It is a public State-run chartered university and so it feels obliged to offer to mentor private university colleges. The KNUST, therefore, regards affiliation as a call to national duty to help mentor university colleges, as a social corporate responsibility and a way of helping to increase access to tertiary education for national development. This is in line with the University’s vision and mission statements.
Given that the KNUST is a science and technology institution, it opens its doors to private universities desirous of mounting programmes in the sciences and technology. However, it offers mentors in the areas of health and the humanities, as well.
At the KNUST, an office has been established dedicated to affiliation. This office coordinates the affairs and activities of institutions affiliated to the KNUST. Some of the major activities of the office include ensuring that the appropriate reviews are done prior to approval of applications, organizing and servicing the Liaison Committee, organizing workshops, seminars and other for a for capacity-building for various categories of staff of mentee institutions, being part of the planning and execution of ceremonies in mentee institutions and, above all, being the liaison between the University and its affiliates.
The office is manned by an Assistant Registrar also commonly called Affiliations Officer.
There are basically two types of affiliations, namely, Institutional Affiliation and Programme Affiliation.
For an Institutional Affiliation, the private university seeks to be mentored as an institution together with its academic programmes and so it adopts the systems, structures and processes of the mentor institution. By Programme Affiliation, an institution may apply to be mentored in a programme only. However, it must already have an institutional affiliation elsewhere as a prerequisite.
To seek to be mentored by the KNUST, the prospective mentee institution applies to the Management through the Vice-Chancellor for affiliation. A Team from the Affiliations Office is detailed to pay a reconnaissance visit after which a report is submitted to Management of the University.
When the report is positive and approved, the prospective mentee is then invited to submit its curricula and other documentation for review. The review is a three-tier process which begins with a sub-committee with expertise in the relevant academic areas being proposed. The second tier is the Planning and Resources Committee of the University which also reviews the work and the documents submitted by the specialized sub-committee before passing it over to the Academic Board for approval. Thereafter, the necessary legal protocols are then signed if it is institutional affiliation. If it programme affiliation, after the final approval by the Academic Board, the mentee institution is advised to mount the programme.
Since 2013, the Ministry of Health has engaged the KNUST to up-grade and mentors its training institutions running programmes in Registered General Nursing, Registered Midwifery, Registered Community Nursing and Environmental Health.
This is in line with the University’s commitment to fulfilling its corporate social responsibility in ways that impact positively and directly on national development.