Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary and Development Studies (MITDS) on Saturday graduated its first batch of students after they had successfully completed their programmes in different fields.
MITDS is an accredited University Institute in the Upper East Region and the first Ghanaian University to respond to clarion calls for Universities in Ghana to go beyond their traditional on-campus, satellite campus and distance learning to Open University System.
Addressing congregation at the maiden graduation ceremony which took place at the University’s premises at Yinkene, a suburb of Bolgatanga, the council chairman of the university, Prof. Saa Dittoh gave an assurance that the undergraduate programme will soon be reactivated and challenged the grandaunts to make the school proud wherever they find themselves.
“Today, we are graduating 5 PhDs, 4 MPhils, and 11 BSc. These are the gallant pioneers of MITDS. It is our hope that they will continue to make us proud wherever they find themselves.
We as Council members are aware of the low subscription to our BSc programme and the need to be strategic in positioning ourselves. We are sad that MITDS started to gradually roll-down the undergraduate programme from last academic year. That means there are no level 100 or 200 intakes. We sincerely hope that this is an interim measure and that the undergraduate programme will be reactivated soon.”
“As part of our academic pursuits, seven (7) guide books have been published in Culture and Development – our main programme. Also, a running in-house peer reviewed Journal, Journal for Culture and Development (CULTRAD), has been established and postgraduate students must publish their Term Papers in it before they graduate. So far a Third Edition has been published.” He stressed.
President of the University, Prof. David Millar, expressed satisfaction with the assistance and cooperation he had received from some institutions for the past 28 years since he started the journey.
He said in order to respond to the One-District-One Factory pledge of the current government; the institute has identified seven potential Projects on offer.
“In order to respond to the One District One Factory pledge of the new Government, MITDS has identified seven (7) potential Projects on offer. We have began making in-roads to identifying by-ins. The Projects are:
Our flag-ship Grass for Charcoal Project we now call the GARWASI Project, we have expanded it to include using the same technology to develop paper for paper bags and toilet roles), the transformation of Groundnut vines into organic fertilizer, dealing with the Fulani Herdmen challenges, transforming the Bolgatanga meet Factory into a multi-purpose Abattoir, developing the Bamboo plant for the production of matches sticks and toothpicks, Wulugu Ranching liking with Nasia Rice Production, Pwalugu multi-vegetable factory and Walewale Organic Fertilizer Factor.”
“It is with extreme joy and honour, that we of the Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary and Development Studies (MITDS) wish to welcome you all from far and near to witness this historic occasion, the Maiden Graduation Ceremony of our Students. Before I move further into my submission, let me particularly appreciate the role played by some key institutions that are instrumental to our success story today. These are National Accreditation Board (NAB), for granting us Accreditation, UDS for granting us the Affiliation Status, mentoring us and will, in due course, be graduating our students, the NTCE for accepting us into their fold of Tertiary Institutions, The National Association of Private Universities, and our Bankers NIB who assisted us financially from the very onset.”
“We already have a couple of local Universities in Ghana partnering with External Universities on the Open University Concept. If you read the Prof. Anamoah-Mensah’s report on Tertiary Education in Ghana (2006), he challenged universities in Ghana to go from their traditional on-campus, distant learning to Open University System. MITDS is about the first fully Ghanaian Owned Institution attempting to respond to the clarion call of this report that was accepted by the Government of Ghana several years ago. We also have in-place a duly composed and functional Council. The various structures and programmes offered by the Institute have received the necessary Accreditations.”
One of the PhD grandaunts, Helen Akologo Azupogo recounted how stressful it had been to combine family life and high academic pursuits.
“My four year journey to obtaining a PhD has been a process of ‘de-schooling and ‘re-schooling. My life has emerged better and richer from the knowledge and experiences gathered from lecturers, mates and from other people, some of who have never received formal education. It has given me a different perspective about the people and issues I meet daily in life.” She explained
Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS) Prof. Gabriel Teye cautioned the grandaunts to be good ambassadors anywhere they find themselves.