The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has graduated a total of 876 students who successfully passed the prescribed academic requirement of the University and they were awarded with various degrees at the 3rd congregation ceremony the University held in Sunyani. Of this number, 279 were from School of Engineering, 261 from School of Sciences, 60 from the School of Agriculture and Technology and 269 from the School of Natural Resources. UENR for the first time also graduated 21 postgraduate students in the area of Natural Resources, Sustainable Energy Management and Environmental Engineering.
The Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo who was the special guest of honour for the occasion in his speech expressed satisfaction on the performance of the University as a young institution. He said UENR must play a key role in making reforms in areas of Natural resources, Science and Technology which should be given keen attention in the country since Universities are seen as partners in development and their contribution in generating social and economic transformation cannot be underrated.
Hon. Osafo Marfo further said UENR has shown enough efforts hence the need to be related with some key Ministries such as Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industries. He added that being responsible for public sector reforms requires research to innovate ways to help solve societal challenges in Ghana, saying that it was in that line the government intended to devote 1% of GDP to fund research institutions to undertake more research work to generate knowledge and turn it into wealth. He was confident to say UENR being a specialized University will help the country not to drift away from Science and Technology since governments aims at promoting such discipline to help meet the technological demands of the nation.
The Senior Minister again commended UENR for its enormous achievements since its inception. He pledged to institute the “Yaw Osafo Marfo’s Award for women in Engineering”. However, the Hon Senior Minster exhorted the University to stimulate its research into science and technology to become an epitome of knowledge, especially in energy and natural resources in Africa. He assured government’s resolve to come to the aid of the University.
Advising the graduates, Hon Osafo Marfo said they should apply the knowledge gained to real life situation and stated “You have been taught on how to fish and make a living for the rest of your lives in various disciplines as Agricultural Scientist, Specialist in natural resource management, Engineers, Mathematicians and so on. It is your responsibility now to ensure that you are able to catch the fish on a sustainable basis.”
In a speech delivered by the Vice Chancellor of UENR, Professor Harrison Kwame Dapaah, he said UENR has become one of the fastest growing institutions in the country with the initial intake of 154 students in 2012, the total population has increased to 5051 as at May 2018. He added that the phenomenal growth in population in terms of student’s enrollment for the past years was a manifestation of the University’s resolve to increase access to tertiary education through the study of programmes to help solve problems facing the country.
He added that the University sought to transform its graduate to become “Technologians” who will create, make and innovate on skills acquired in science and technology. Again, he said UENR has outlined programmes such as mandatory industrial attachment for a semester as part of the programme requirement to enable students liaise with the world of work adding that UENR has also instituted the celebration Science festival to promote the study of science among Junior and Senior high schools in Brong Ahafo Region.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, the festival will help curb the low enrollment of women into the sciences since society sees programmes such as engineering to be hardcore hence women do not opt for them. He however commended the performance of Miss Nyanyo Mawutor Felicia who pursued BSc Mechanical Engineering and achieved a first class with a GPA of 3.60. She was honored with the Prof. Mrs. Esi Awuah’s Award for women in Engineering.
Prof. Dapaah disclosed that UENR has entered into an MoU with Global Change Research of Czech Academy of Sciences to establish a Greenhouse Gas and Global climate change research station to enable UENR become a leading research institution in carbon fluxes to help contribute to ways of solving issues of climate change in Ghana.
Touching on the challenges of the University, Prof. Harrison Dapaah called on government to intervene in the infrastructural and financial challenges facing the University. He said the University uses its uncompleted Library and ICT complex as Lecture Hall adding that, all GETFund projects have also come to a standstill due to nonpayment of contractors. He appealed for a seed money of 50 million Ghana Cedis through the Senior Minister to help the university run its multi campus system and also to implement a ten-year strategic plan of the University.
The CEO of GNPC Dr. Dr. Dr. KK Sarpong in a keynote address advised the graduates not to rely on only academic achievement to excel in the world of work saying “let me advise the graduants on my view in the work class, Certificate is a lifelong learning of civil and social activities. I urge you to do more, for an educated mind never stop learning.”
He urged them to cultivate the five ‘H’ values which were Honesty, Humility, Hard work, Humanity and Human relations and added that these values are essential components of a successful life.