The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD), Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson, has revealed that the University is scheduled to commence one of its flagship programmes, Urban Design in the next academic year, under the School of Built Environment.
The UESD will then become the first University to run the programme in the country.
Prof. Nyarko-Sampson revealed this when he called on Management of the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) in Accra, accompanied by the Registrar, Mrs. Mary Abena Agyepong and some faculty members.
The meeting which was held in the conference room of the EPA, was hosted by the Deputy Executive Director (Technical), Mr. Ebenezer K. Appah-Sampong and the Deputy Executive Director (General Services), Dr. Christine O. Asare. It was part of the UESD scheduled visits to organisations that share similar mandates with it.
Prof. Nyarko-Sampson said, EPA’s operations cut across environmental sustainability and proper land use, and considering the unique mandate of the University, it is appropriate that an alliance is formed between the two institutions to share expertise.
He continued that the programmes run in the University are designed to ensure that graduates churned out fit into the areas of the environmental sustainability chain.
The Vice-Chancellor stated that, in order to provide the students with the holistic knowledge, expertise and experience, the programme curriculum has made room for the students to interact with experts in industry through internship and practical training. Adding that, both the UESD and the EPA could consider joint research projects and data sharing collaborations for mutual benefits.
The Dean of the School of Sustainable Development, Prof. Anthony Amoah, indicated UESD’s readiness to develop short courses for staff members of EPA to help build their capacity. He mentioned that the University is looking to introduce a new programme called, Environmental Communication, to provide education regarding best practices in reporting environmental issues.
The Dean of the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, (SNES), Prof. Edward Wiafe Debrah, expressed gratitude to the EPA for the inputs they provided in the development of the School’s curriculum.
The Head of Department for Environment and Public Health, Prof. Kofi Mensah Nyarko, suggested the establishment of a research centre that would serve as a point of convergence for staff of EPA to share knowledge in modern trends and data.
For her part, the Registrar, Mrs. Mary Abena Agyepong, was confident the collaboration between the two organisations will yield fruitful outcomes.
Responding, the Deputy Executive Director (Technical), EPA, Mr. Ebenezer K. Appah-Sampong, expressed keen interest in the Urban Design Programme to be introduced by the UESD. He described the UESD as a direct and worthy partner because of the similarities in the mandate, adding that the establishment of the UESD gives him the confidence to keep believing in Ghana.
Supporting his colleague’s submission, the Deputy Executive Director (General Services), EPA Dr. Christine O. Asare, revealed that the EPA’s Human Settlement Unit performs functions that fall under the Urban Design programme and, therefore, reiterated the need for collaboration.
She also proposed other potential areas of collaboration which includes Environmental Technology, Environmental Education, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Governance and Environmental Statistics.
Dr. Asare also spoke on the need for the UESD to also consider running Environmental law as a mandatory programme in order to provide students with insights into land ownership and its use.
She said, as a firm believer in unified efforts, EPA’s collaboration with UESD and other experts from the Statistical services and Spatial and environmental planning, is anticipated to yield more workable strategies which could be identified to deal with the ‘polluter pays’ scheme.
Dr. Asare, expressed confidence that the UESD-EPA collaboration comes with the promise of getting Ghana closer to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals on Environmental Protection and Sustainability.
The Registrar, Mrs Agyepong later presented a profile of the UESD and a Proposal for a MoU to Management of the EPA. IT was received by Mr Appah –Sampong.