The Founder and President of the Nobel International Business School (NiBS), Prof. Kwaku Atuahene-Gima, has described as woefully inadequate government’s research funding for public universities, ABC News can report.
Currently, the government allocates 0.3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to fund research by tertiary education teachers, a figure Prof. Atuahene-Gima describes as a joke.
In the view of Prof. Atuahene-Gima, who is a Distinguished Professor of Marketing and Innovation Management, the poor research fund for public universities is to be blamed for the inability of universities to conduct research that impacts national development.
He made the remarks in an interview with ABC News at the 3rd Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) graduation ceremony of the NiBS in Accra last Saturday.
“When I was in China and Hong Kong, I got research grants from government and I was in the University. These are competitive grants. All my PhD students that I supervised in Hong Kong were supported by my research budget. None of my research that was supervised in Hong Kong and China was below $200,000. When I was in China I had a research budget for about $3 million.
“Here in Ghana, what we give to Universities is not research grant. That is a joke to me. No wonder that we don’t really have rigorous high-impact research been done. This is because they don’t have resources, how do you expect somebody to do world-class research on GHC 4,000 a year? It’s just a joke,” he lamented.
Concerns have been raised about the adequacy of funding for public universities in the country, with many educationists and researchers proposing an increment in research funds from 0.3 percent to 1 percent of GDP to stimulate economic growth.
Government, in reaction to the concerns, recently announced its preparedness to increase the research funding for tertiary education teachers to one percent of GDP as proposed, assuring that its budgetary allocation to tertiary education shall be at least 2.5 percent of GDP.
Professor Mohammed Salifu, the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education, who announced this, said government would also establish a National Research and Innovation Fund to address priority areas of research and development.
Prof Atuahene-Gima lauded the decision by the government to establish the National Research and Innovation Fund, expressing hope that the initiative will empower universities to undertake quality research.
A total of 44 Executives from diverse backgrounds graduated with coveted DBA degrees awarded by the Swiss Business School in partnership with NiBS.
In attendance were a number of dignitaries including former President John Dramani Mahama, the National Chief Imam, Sheikh (Dr.) Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, and the Member of Parliament for Madina, Abu-Bakar Saddique Boniface.
Among the graduating students were a member of the GFA Executive Council and owner of Kpando Hearts of Lions, Ransford Annetey Abbey, the General Manager of the Business and Financial Times, Godwin Acquaye, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Asare Afua Asabea.
The Director of Human Resource at World Vision International, Mrs. Frances Noble-Nkrumah won the Overall Best Thesis Award.
The Director of Human Resource at the Volta River Authority, Dr. Stella Agyekum Boateng urged the graduands to take cognizance of the rate at which technology is transforming the world of work and embrace change to maintain their influence in future.
“We must appreciate that the title ‘Dr’ comes with a lot of responsibilities and expectations; one becomes a go-to person, a role model, a repository of knowledge and ideas in the eyes of many. This makes it imperative for us to come together as a Body of Practitioners and form a Think Tank to make a significant impact on society,” she urged.