On Thursday, May, 31, 2018, the University for Development Studies (UDS) held its 25th Anniversary Public Lecture. The Lecture took place at the Dr. Andani Andan Academic Board Chamber, Tamale Campus and was delivered by the Foundation Registrar of UDS, Dr. Paul Effah. His speech centered on the theme for the Anniversary Celebrations, UDS@25: Impact on National Development through Practical Higher Education.
In the lecture, Dr. Effah highlighted the major events leading to the establishment of UDS. He noted that UDS was born out of the new thinking on higher education which emphasises the need for universities to play a more active role in addressing problems of society, particularly in the rural areas. He said it was this ideology that shaped the mission and focus of the University. Using the framework provided by Salmi (2010) on common errors made when building a New World-class University, Dr. Effah assessed the establishment of the University against the common errors identified by Salmi (2010). Based on the assessment, he established that UDS was able to avoid a majority of the common errors.
On the University’s impact on National Development, Dr. Effah stated that UDS has primarily brought university education to the doorstep of the people of Northern Ghana, automatically producing graduates working in public and private organisations throughout the country to affect positively the lives of people. He added that the University through its Third Trimester Field Practical Programme (TTFPP) has made significant contributions to community development, particularly by building the capacity of both the students and community members, as well as providing worthy research material for development organisations. He also acknowledged the contribution of the UDS School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences to health care in Northern Ghana.
Dr Effah concluded his lecture by charging the University community to use the Silver Jubilee celebrations as an opportunity to reflect on what the University has achieved and to explore new insights that would make UDS one of the best developmental Universities in Africa. He said the University would need to become more innovative so as to be able to survive the 21st century challenges. He advised the University not to abandon its focus on practically-oriented, problem-solving and student-centered approaches in its quest to become one of the best Universities in Africa.