The Director General of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Professor Mohammed Salifu, has said the commission is putting together proposals to present to Parliament for the review of tertiary education institution fees for the coming academic year.
Addressing the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament sitting in Accra, Professor Salifu said the review became necessary as pricing and fee schedules and governance changed.
The Director-General was at the PAC to respond to issues raised in the 2019 Auditor-General’s report on the Commission.
GTEC is the successor body to both the National Accreditation Board and the National Council for Tertiary Education.
The report indicated that in 2015/2016 the National Accreditation Board, 92nd without Parliamentary approval contrary to Regulation 2(b), 5(4), 22(2) and 23(4) of the National Accreditation Board Regulations LI 1984 (2010) The board reviewed its service charges in the meeting.
The auditors recommended that the management take steps to get parliamentary approval to avoid any legal challenges.
It said the auditors observed that the board did not take any action against those who violated the law by advertising, running unsustainable institutions and programs.
It recommended that the board should ensure compliance with the law and deal with the guilty as per the law.
PAC Chairman Dr James Klutse Abedji asked Prof Salifu why GTEC was charging fees without the approval of Parliament.
The chairman also wants to know what measures have been taken so far against unauthorized institutions.
Professor Solifu said GTEC inherited the assets and liabilities of both the National Accreditation Board as well as the National Council for Tertiary Education.
He explained that following the recommendations of the auditors, the then National Accreditation Board took steps to resolve the issue.
“Because we provide oversight for the sector, we are aware that this issue was even outside of the National Accreditation Board, there was a lot of sensitivity about the implications of the Fees and Charges Act for the entire tertiary sector,” he said.
“Earlier, what happened was that even at the university level once the board/council approved the fee it was going to come into effect, and it was brought to our attention that there was a fee and charge law that we all had to abide by. “
He further said, what GTEC was doing was collating all the inputs, before presenting them to the Joint Finance Committee and Parliament’s Legal Committee for consideration; “The fee charged now is the fee approved by the Joint Committee”.
Dr. Avedji: “Are you reviewing your fees again?”
Prof Salifu: “We collected it for the entire sector for this current year and we were supposed to go through the same process but until we review it, we are applying the latest approved fee.”
Dr. Avedji asked Prof. Salifu whether he had passed the Fees and Charges Amendment Act, 2022 in Parliament, to which Prof. Salifu replied that the entire third sector, including regulatory bodies, was part of the Fees and Charges Amendment Act, 2022.