The University of Environment and Sustainable Development held its maiden Commencement Lecture on the 23rd of January, 2021 to officially launch the beginning of academic work. It was held at the forecourt of the University’s Auditorium at Somanya and attended by members of the University Council, Staff and Students, invited guests and a cross section of the public.
The main theme for the Lecture was: Securing the Environment-our Challenges.
The Commencement Lecture was adopted from the United States and will be carried out every year to begin academic activities in schools.
The University has admitted more than seventy (70) Pioneering Students to pursue various Programmes at the two main Schools it is currently running. These are the Schools of Sustainable Development and the School of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. The Programmes on offer are: B.Sc. Sustainable Development, B.Sc. Energy Sustainability, B.Sc. Biological and Mathematical Sciences, B.Sc. Environmental Sciences and Education, B.Sc. Geography and Earth Science, Environment and Public Health and B.Sc., Water Resources and Development.
Speaking on the topic: “Attitude as the Primary and Silent Requirement in the Service for National Development”, the Guest Speaker, Prof. Alfred A. Oteng-Yeboah, of the Department of Plant and Environmental Biology of the University of Ghana, Legon, applauded governments over the years for the vision of establishing a University that seeks to address the adverse effects of the Environment. He said: ‘the name and focus of the University have been crafted to reflect global efforts supported by national actions to tackle head-on, the three global issues confronting humanity: namely the effects of Climate Change, Land Degradation and loss of biological diversity within the 2030 global agenda’.
The astute Professor stated that the challenge to secure the Environment will be a mirage unless society adopts positive attitudes to consciously secure natural bodies including water, soils, air and their composite elements which collectively sustain life. He posited: ‘without the right attitude as a prerequisite in service for national development, the challenge to secure the Environment will be a mirage’.
Prof. Obeng-Yeboah reiterated the point that, the success of the University depends on positive attitudes which must be exhibited by both Staff and Students.
Supporting his Lectures with quotes from influential people across the globe, the knowledgeable Professor explained the concept of Attitude and its Implications and identified some factors that are likely to influence one’s attitude. This he said can be informed by a person’s culture or by Society. What the University needs is people with the right attitude.
He expressed the hope that the University will quickly mature to offer Ghanaians and the external market the needed expertise in the delivery of safe Environment options. This, he noted, can be achieved with the right attitude, saying it is the expectation of the University to churn out products who will exhibit the core values of the University. These are Honesty, Opportunities, Perseverance and Enterprising.
Prof. Oteng-Yeboah commended the Chairman and Members of the University Council, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson, Registrar, Mrs. Mary Abena Agyepong and Management for the tireless efforts they put in place to ensure the running of the University. He also congratulated the newly appointed Staff on their recruitment and urged them to exhibit high levels of professionalism in their work while encouraging the first batch of students of the University to study hard, saying: as pioneer students they are likely to face very many challenging situations. If they do, they should not fret, but rather learn from the challenges as it will equip them to face the future.
The Deputy Director General of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Dr. Ahmed Jinapor Abdulai in a Good Will message said, Ghana has over the years strived to secure its Environment through Legislations and Actions, but the outcome has not been impressive. This is why the positioning of UESD to train students who will become experts in addressing Environment challenges is laudable. He expressed the Commission’s confidence in the University to succeed.
The Chairman of the University Council, Prof. Jonathan N. N. Ayertey, urged all stakeholders to come on board to help the University to achieve its core mandate.
There were Goodwill messages from representatives of the Secretariat of Vice-Chancellors, Ghana, GETFUND, Traditional Rulers and Religious Organizations..
The Bl3ma T3sa cultural group of Yilo Krobo treated the audience to a beautiful cultural performance.