Impact of HERANA project on the current level of education

 

 

Dissertation  an inquiry into a current effort or initiative underway to provide accessible and affordable higher education in Ghana

Executive Summary

In this research report, the current efforts in Ghana are analyzed in order to determine the impact of HERANA project on the current level of education, but there are various issues such as sources of funding, infrastructure development, and others that impact on the current level of higher education in Ghana. The research objective of the study is to determine the current level of education in Ghana, to inquire the current effort that provides accessible and affordable higher education in Ghana and develop a case study of its objective, process, and current impact. The aim of the study is to determine the impact of HERANA project on the affordability and accessibility of higher education in Ghana. The research methodology is quantitative research method which is used to collect the data through the questionnaire as a data collection tool and data is analyzed through using MS Excel which shows that the current efforts of HERANA project are improving the affordability and accessibility of higher education in Ghana but still various initiatives are required in order to improve the higher education system in Ghana.  

Chapter-1

Introduction

The focus of the study is to understand the impact of current efforts in Ghana which provides accessible and affordable higher education. The sources of funding are the major issue in the accessibility of higher education in Ghana, so the current effort of the government is to provide the sources of funding for higher education which enables to facilitate the higher education for students in Ghana. The funding policies are the current efforts that are done by the government in order to facilitate higher education in Ghana. The policies are a hypothesis in which the designed plan shows the hypothesis of the conversion of hypothesis into government action. The policy reforms and the formulation of new policies have transformed the higher education with the aim of pointing various issues and challenges faced in the accessibility of higher education in Ghana. The policies have been developed in the various areas of higher education which enables to the provision of funding facilities in order to ensure the smooth running of the entire higher education system. For example, policies are designed in order to ensure the quality of higher education. The
The various other efforts are currently taking place in Ghana such as the development of universities, educational programs by the government and others. The HELENA (Higher education and economic development) is the program that was established in 2007 in order to research on the higher education and advocacy network in Africa. It is coordinated by the high education transform. The higher education masters in Africa program is the capacity building component of HERANA which contributes towards the strengthening of higher education in Africa. The research component of the program contributes to the research of higher education in Ghana. The HELENA is funded by the various organizations such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Kresge Foundation. The funding of Higher education masters in Africa program is done by NORAD.  
The project focus on the complex links between economic development and higher education in Africa. The objectives of HERANA include evidence-based information related to the higher education and the working of the high education sector; link the network of African higher education with other international groups, sharing of capacity building of interdisciplinary higher education in a network of researchers and senior researchers. The multiple sources of funding facilitate higher education in Ghana. The South African funding system is implemented in the national policy which facilitates higher education and the higher education policies have taken into consideration equitability, democracy and integrate economic development because it is considered as the major concern for the development of the general people in Ghana. According to the research, there is a complexity between the Centre for education policy development and the Democratic university staff association, but they are trying to achieve the targets in order to facilitate higher education in Ghana.
The planned and systematic review programs are introduced by the government in order to review the standard of education, teaching, administration, scholarship and infrastructure which enable to provision a high quality of education in Ghana. The role of universities plays an important role in providing higher education in Ghana which enables to development of the economy by increasing the literacy rate of people in Ghana. According to Varghese et al., 2013 the public sector institutions and state plays a central role in providing higher education in Ghana through developing the strategy which enhances the higher education in an efficient and effective manner. Higher education is provided by universities. In the 1960s and 1970s, many universities are established in Africa which supports higher education in Ghana, and the public universities in these countries are the symbol of self-respect and national pride. The expansion in higher education provides aspiration of the political and economic of the newly independent government. The government was willing to invest in higher education which provides the facilities for development in Ghana. In the twenty-one century, the role is centrally managed by the universities in order to provide higher education. Since after that the sector is tremendously expanded in the past few years. The sector of higher education attracts a large number of stakeholders due to which higher education plays an important role in the transformation of Ghana. However, there are still various challenges which are faced in by the higher education sector such as funding, the concern of quality, poor research base, and institution capabilities and others. 
There are many revolutionary changes that took place in higher education globally which impacts, the higher education of Africa. The internationalism impacts on the activities of higher education in Ghana which enables to shape the higher education in the 21st century. It is the major force on the higher education which results in various opportunities, challenges, and risk which demands in-depth analysis and understandings. The role of higher education in Africa is not contestable in sustainable political, social and economic development. The sector is struggling due to inadequate capacity and few resources due to which it is difficult to respond to the increasing demand.  
The various challenges are faced in the development of higher education in Ghana which has pertinently threatened socio-economic wellbeing. The summarization of challenges was shown within the Millennium development goals. According to the African progress report, 2012 it is shown that the progress is being made towards the attainment of the Millennium development goals in which the gains in education, disease survivors against malaria and HIV, and child survival has been improved. However, the overall progress remains slow, and many citizens are still in the trap of poverty due to which there is a level of inequality in across Africa.
The project starts with the review of international literature on the relationship between economic development and higher education which is followed by the three case studies of three systems that had successfully linked the higher education policy and economic development in three states, namely, South Korea, Finland and North Carolina. The analytical framework of the project the universities are considered as the institution for the production of high-level skills and the innovation of knowledge, and it is based on the traditional core business. In government knowledge policies, higher education is one of the important areas. It shows that the political actors are more interested in the higher education than the socio-economic stakeholders. It raises the issues of the system and the coordination level of knowledge with the adequate structure within the political system. The research group has taken three case studies in the development of national strategy in order to enhance higher education by understanding the complex relationship between higher education and economic development. The project is not attempting various aspects such as the evaluation of universities in the development of the countries, assessment of the impacts of policies, examination of external donors in the development of universities, and the primary role of higher education in the development. 
The university conditions contribute towards the development of the economies by facilitating higher education to the students in Ghana. The universities can also take participate in the global knowledge economy and made a contribution in a sustainable manner if the core of academics is qualitatively and quantitatively strong. The conditions of the universities in Africa are contributing towards the development of the economy, and it is influenced by the following three factors which are interrelated:
•    The size, nature and continues the academic core of the university.
•    The nature of a pact between the political authorities, universities, and society.
•    The impact of implications, the level of coordination and connectedness in the context of the large policy of universities.

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Research objective

1. To determine the current level of higher education in Ghana.
2. To inquire into "HERANA project" underway to provide accessible and affordable higher education in Ghana.
3. To develop a case study of "HERANA project" objectives, process and current impact.

Aim of study

The aim of the research is to determine the impact of the HERANA project on the affordability and accessibility of higher education in Ghana. 
Background and context of the study
The funding policies are ensured by the government in order to facilitate higher education in Ghana. The HANA project investigates the following conditions for harnessing higher educations for economic development:
1.    The quality schooling and equitable is the two foundations on the basis of which higher education system is built, so there was an emphasis on the higher quality of higher education within a particular time period.
2.    The participation rate in education has been achieved.
3.    Higher education is differentiated in order to achieve the human capital and objective of innovation for the development of the economy.
The development of universities is one of the current efforts which is towards higher education in Ghana. There are various issues that are faced by the sector such as weak research and poor innovation capacity due to which the government is unable to provide a high quality of education in Ghana. The African Union Second decade of education plan has prioritized higher education in Africa in order to develop the country and the emphasis on the generation of knowledge through regional integration, quality assurance, resource mobilization, and others.
The African Union Commission views regional integration as the key element and intermediate step towards the African countries' integration into the global economy. It is mainly done to bring convergence in the higher education system of Ghana which is diversely structured along the colonial, geographical, structured lines and linguistic. The premium is used for quality and research in higher education. It is reflected in the organizations of regional universities, for example, the Southern Africa Regional Universities Association (Atuahene et al., 2013).  The Arusha Convention is implemented by the Pan African University which aims at the harmonization of academic programs in order to enhance quality assurance, compatibility, recognition, and transferability. The concept of development is not confined to the macroeconomics forces of growth, but it also forces on the improvement of the individual and human conditions improvements such as standard of living, equality, well-being and others.
Statement of the research problem
The purpose of the research study is to learn the importance of current efforts in providing affordable higher education in Ghana. The study was mainly designed with the following four interrelated questions:
1.    What is the current level of higher education in Ghana?
2.    What are the efforts that provide accessible and affordable higher education in Ghana?
3.    What is the current impact of the efforts on higher education?
The above research questions are designed in order to tie the central research questions by guiding the overall study. 
Definition of key terms and concepts
The objective of the study and subsidiary and central research questions guides the study. The working definitions of the key terms and concepts are explained below:

Description of Higher education 

In this report higher education includes a wide range of universities, technical colleges, and vocational colleges among other formal institutions. Higher education is expanding with the expansion of knowledge in the economy which promotes social welfare and the progress of the economy. According to the research, higher education is one of the elements which drive the high economic performance in OECD countries in the past few decades. The higher education is influenced by the universities and research organizations that influence the economic competitiveness of an individual in a global context (Smith et al., 2015). Higher education is developed in Ghana through research and development activities in order to grow the knowledge of people in Ghana.

Current Education system 

The current education system in Ghana is characterized in principle by a binary structure in which the universities are on the one hand, and polytechnics are on the other hand. The reforms are introduced in the year 1987 after then the education system has sixteen structures in which six years are of primary education, two or three years of secondary education, and four years for higher education. In Ghana, there are more than twelve thousand primary schools, seven hundred senior secondary schools, fifty-five hundred junior secondary schools, eighteen technical institutions, twenty university colleges, ten polytechnics, three charted private universities and six public universities.

Assumptions

The study assumes that the majority of respondents are between the ages of 25-30 years. The study also assumes that the respondents are capable of responding regarding the current level of higher education in Ghana. 

Summary

The proposed study was based on the determination of the impact of funding policies on the accessibility of higher education in Ghana. The research is done through a questionnaire, and the respondents are university students in order to analyze the higher education system of Ghana. The objective of HERANA is to determine the complex relationship between the education system and economic development which leads to acts as a current effort for the development of higher education in Ghana. The purpose of the research is to analyze the impact of the HASANA project on the accessibility of higher education in Ghana. The funding policies literature review is discussed in the paper and in the research methodology the research methods in explained after that the data is analyzed based on the data collection of hundred respondents who were the college students. So the data analysis is done after the data collection. Then on the basis of the analysis, the conclusion has been made. The focus of the report is widely on the current efforts in order to provide access to higher education in Ghana. In the background and contextual information, the economic development and the government policies with the financing for higher education is explained.

Chapter-2

Literature Review

This chapter talks about the theoretical framework and the conceptual background of higher education in Ghana. The purpose of this literature is to give a background to this present research about inquiring into the efforts that are underway to provide accessible and affordable higher education in Ghana. The literature will focus on the state of higher education in Ghana and the way it has developed over the past several years. Apart from this, the current efforts that are being implemented to improve the condition of higher education in Ghana will also be discussed. The funding of these efforts is another issue that Ghana faces, so that will be talked about in minor details.

The condition of education in Ghana

It has been mentioned by (Avoke, 2001) that the educational system in Ghana is mainly informal and the policies that are related to this system are mainly talking about the elite class that was built by the European settlers. When the country gained independence, the objective of universal education became popular, and it gained importance in the country. The indicators of education in Ghana reflect the gender gaps and the disparities in the rural as well as the urban areas. Thus, the action of the public gets driven against the literacy and the inequities while accessing the education (Graham, 2013).
(Graham, 2013) further, explains that education in Ghana is provided in three phases. One is the basic education which is given a primary level, then is the secondary which is mainly the vocational education and finally, the tertiary education comes in the picture which talks about the education at higher levels like in universities and colleges. The literature presents a view on this tertiary education and inquiries into the efforts that have been put in the country to help people in attaining a good quality of higher education or tertiary education.

The role of higher education in Ghana

According to (Kaiser, 2014), there exists a pact between the stakeholders at the national and the institutional level and also among the external stakeholders like the foreign donors, etc. who believes that for the sustained contribution to the development of Ghana, the higher education plays a key role. Here, the meaning of pact is given by (Varghese, 2013) who says that a pact is any commitment between the political authorities of the country, the universities and the society regarding the understanding of cultural, political and the socio-economic things and the pact lay down the points for the expectation from the universities of Ghana, and the rules and regulations that they must follow for improving the condition of education and for imparting higher education in Ghana (Robb et al., 2014). 
(Cloete, 2015) writes that the role of higher education in Ghana can be understood from the perspective of national authorities as well as the institutional stakeholders who are at the University of Ghana. (Cloete, 2015) further writes that from the national perspective, higher education will help in achieving the economic development of the country by contributing in the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II) (2006? 2009) and the Ghana Vision 2020. In the GPRS II, human resource development aims to ensure the development of the knowledgeable, disciplined and well-trained labor force that has the capacity to drive and sustain the growth which is led by the private sector. Under this strategy scheme, the growth will be accelerated when the access and the participation in the education of people and their training will be increased (Graham, 2013).  Also, higher education enables the gap in gender to bridge, and people get access to education in all districts. When this happens, the economic development of the country rises. Also, the efficiency in the delivery of the educational services will get improved. Finally, as per the perspective of national authorities, when higher education will get imparted in Ghana, science and technology will be promoted which will lead to innovation,  cost savings and ultimately the development of the economy (Thorbecke, 2013).  Then, (Sampson, 2014) talks about the Ghana Vision 2020 where the main aim is to reduce the level of poverty in the country, increase the average income of people, and reduce the income disparities. This means that the vision is to develop the humans in Ghana and this can be achieved when higher education is imparted to people.  With the higher education of good quality, the rate of population will get reduced because people will become aware of the benefits of nuclear families. This will make people more educated, and thus they will enter into medical fields.  This will help in the reduction of the infant and child mortality, the food security will get improved, and the health services will be accessible to all.
Thus, higher education has a very important role to play in the development of Ghana, and the government wishes to achieve all the improvements in the human development of the country by imparting them higher education.
Efforts by government to provide accessible and affordable higher education in Ghana

Education Strategic Plan

It is mentioned in (Singal, 2015) that the government of Ghana has made an education strategic plan for 2003-2015 that aims to provide the relevant education to all the Ghanaians at all the possible levels so that they can acquire the skills that will help them to develop their potential to do the tasks, they will become more productive and the reduction in the level of poverty will be facilitated. These will, in turn, help the country in promoting its socio-economic growth and development at the national level. It has been mentioned by (Botts, 2013) that this plan is an effort towards the education sector with the following aims:
• Ensuring that the citizens of Ghana become functionally literate and they also become self-reliant, no matter their age, tribe, religion, gender, etc. 
•    The plan also aims to give basic education to all the people.
•    To create an open education opportunity for all people.
•    To develop the skills in the field of education and training with special emphasis on science, technology, and creativity. 
•    Finally, it aims to extend the higher education for developing the middle and the top-level requirements of the manpower. 
According to (Nketsia, 2013), this plan basically tries to eliminate the four major areas of issue in the education sector of Ghana. These areas of the issue include the inequitable access to education to the people, the poor quality of education given to people of Ghana, the poor management in the educational sector and lack of technical and vocational education and training in the country. Thus, this is a valid and essential effort that needs to be put in by the government of Ghana for providing easy and accessible higher education to the people. This will not only improve the issues areas but also lead to the development of humans in the country who will then be able to contribute to the development of the country (Bloom et al., 2014).

 National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy

Ghana has a vision that it wants to become a middle-income country.  For fulfilling this vision, the country wants to fully apply and integrate the science, technology, and innovation into the national development strategies so that the nation's science and technology capabilities can be harnessed and the aims of reducing poverty, making the enterprises competitive, managing the environment sustainably and growing the industries can be achieved successfully (Amankwah-Amoah, 2015).   
The aims of this policy have been mentioned by (Bartels, 2014) which are as follows:
•  Facilitating the way by which scientific and technological capabilities can be mastered.  
• Providing a framework for the inter-institutional efforts that help in the development of science, technology, and other innovative programs in all the sections of the economy so that the basic needs of the society can be served.
• Finally, this policy effort is aimed at creating the conditions that help in improving the scientific and technological infrastructure for research and development and for innovation too.  
To achieve the policy objectives, there are sectoral policies, programs, and strategies that are being implemented but they are all linked to higher education. Though, the role of higher education is less in this, but, this effort cannot be successful without that. 
 
To be continued...

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