Projected Effect of Free SHS on 2020 University Admissions


2020 University Admissions in Ghana will be tough due to the Free SHS. It is anticipated that Ghana’s universities will be overwhelmed by the number of students who will seek to gain admission in 2020.

This will be mainly because of the huge influx of Free SHS graduates after the WASSCE 2020 on condition that they excel in the exams massively as expected by government.

NOV-DEC students, as well as mature students and foreign students, will further increase the numbers greatly.

The big question is how ready are we as a nation for 2020 University Admissions in terms of infrastructure development and what have we done in the past three years to solve the already existing deficit in lecture halls and residential facilities in our tertiary institutions for students.

Public Universities such us KNUST and the University of Ghana would have a lot to do to save the situation however no university in Ghana has been able to admit all qualified applicants seeking admission in any given year.

In 2021, the University of Ghana admitted  15,167 undergraduate students. KNUST  received 56,548 applications out of which some (43,877)were qualified but the University was, however, able to offer admission to only 22,011 students out of the total qualified applicants. The above paints a clear picture of the current situation across universities in Ghana.

All things held constant, many more Free SHS graduates will miss the opportunity to gain admission to Universities because of inadequate infrastructure to admit more students. Reactive decisions and plans may become the last option which is typical of us as a people. But is that the way to go in a technologically advanced world in which we find ourselves?

This is the time to empower private tertiary institutions to admit more students. The government through the Ministry of Education and Minister of State In-Charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah must start working hard and hit the ground running with policies that will ensure, Free SHS graduates do not pass the WASSCE only to add up to the high number of WASSCE graduates in the system.

Private Tertiary Institutions have what it takes to shoulder the challenges since many of them have fewer admissions every year. Since the Colleges of Education do not run evening programmes, the introduction of Evening and Weekend degree and diploma programs in Colleges of Education can further help increase enrolment and give students who pass the WASSCE access to tertiary education. This will help the government make good use of facilities in Colleges of Education across the country.

Another way to increase admissions and help all qualified students secure tertiary education in Ghana is to introduce online university courses. With this, many students would not need to be physically present on University campuses to access tertiary education.

This can be piloted by public and private universities that have the required technology and other relevant resources to run such programs. Already many Ghana’s and professionals are accessing online education across the world here in Ghana. It is time we leverage technology in the tertiary education space in Ghana and gradually shift from the traditional system where students must be physically present on campuses to attend lectures.

In the wake of Ghana’s Free SHS policy, the Ministry of Education must be thinking outside the box in this direction if it intends to make tertiary education accessible and relevant to the teaming youth seeking for knowledge.

Let us start working now to ensure we give students who pass the WASSCE 2020 the chance to attain tertiary education.

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