The Ghana Higher Education Commission is gathering proposals for new fees

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The Ghana Higher Education Commission is gathering proposals for new fees

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Professor Mohammed Salifu, the Director General of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), says the Commission is putting together proposals to be presented to Parliament to revise fees for tertiary institutions for the next academic year.

Speaking before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sitting in Accra, Prof. Salifu said the review became necessary because pricing and fee schedules and regimes had changed.

The Director General was at the PAC to answer questions raised in the Auditor General’s 2019 report on the commission.

GTEC is the successor organization to both the National Council for Accreditation and the National Council for Higher Education.

The report states that the National Accreditation Board in 2015/2016, contrary to regulations 2(b), 5(4), 22(2) and 23(4) of LI 1984 (2010) of the Regulations of the National accreditation board, the Board revised its service charges at the 92nd Board meeting without parliamentary approval.

The auditors recommended that management take steps to obtain parliamentary approval to avoid any legal challenges.

It said the auditors observed that the Board had not taken any action against those who flouted the law by promoting, running and operating unaccredited institutions and programmes.

He also recommended that the Council ensure compliance with the law and those found guilty should be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Dr. James Klutze Awedzi, the PAC chairman, asked Professor Salifu why GTEC was charging fees without the approval of Parliament.

The Chairman also asked to know what actions have been taken so far against non-accredited institutions.

Prof. Salifu said GTEC inherited the assets and liabilities of both the National Accreditation Council and the National Council for Higher Education.

He explained that on the recommendation of the auditors, the then National Accreditation Board took action to address the problem.

“As we provide oversight of the sector, we are aware that this issue was even beyond the National Accreditation Board, there was a lot of sensitization about the implications of the Fees and Charges Act for the entire tertiary sector,” he said.

“Before, what happened was that even at the university level, once the Board/Council approved the fees, it would be done and our attention was drawn to the fact that there was a Fees and Charges Act that we all have to we comply with .”

He subsequently said that what the GTEC does is to collate all the inputs before presenting it to the Joint Finance Committee and the Legal Committee of Parliament to consider; saying that “the fees that are being charged now are fees that have been approved by the Joint Committee.”

Dr. Avedzi: “Are you reviewing your charges again?”

Prof Salifu: “We have matched this for this current year across the sector and had to go through the same process, but until we review it we are applying the fees that were last approved.”

Dr. Awedzi asked Prof. Salifu if he knew that Parliament had passed the Fees and Charges Amendment Act 2022, to which Prof. Salifu replied that the entire tertiary sector, including the regulatory bodies, were part of the Fees and Charges Amendment Act fees and charges from 2022

Source: GNA

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