Universities in Accra, Ghana
About Universities in Accra, GhanaOn a continent all too often marred by instability and economic underdevelopment, Ghana is an inspiring example of what an optimistic African future might look like. Of course, the country has its own controversies and environmental problems, but these are distinctly overshadowed by the success stories in this peaceful, diverse, and exceptionally well-educated African nation. In the Ghanaian capital of Accra alone there are over 50 accredited colleges universities, including a number that are affiliated with prestigious international institutions. Accra is decidedly the educational hub of the country, as well as its cultural and political center.
Although Ghana’s numerous ethnic groups all speak their own languages – Twi, Ewe, Nzema, and several others – the lingua franca shared by all of them is English. In addition, English is the one official language recognized and used by the central government of Ghana. Thus, all schools and universities in Accra use English as their language of instruction. This makes Ghana a popular international education destination with people from all over the world, particularly (though not exclusively) native English speakers.
Due to Ghana’s stability and rapid economic development, as well as the convenience of a shared language, Ghana is an especially popular destination with American and British college students. Study-abroad programs at universities in Ghana are famously safe, comfortable, and offer a high quality of education. This is a great way for English speakers to get a first-time introduction to Africa, focusing on environmental issues, politics and development, literacy, history, culture, or some combination. Few African nations offer both stability and educational opportunity in this way.
The educational culture in Ghana is, of course, significantly different from that of many other countries, and this can sometimes be a surprise for foreign-born students studying in Ghana. American students in particular may be used to a liberal-arts model in which the student-teacher relationship is collegial and familiar. American professors tend to prefer a conversational method that can be extremely informal. Students who are accustomed to this approach may be surprised at how formal Ghanaian educational culture is. This is not true across the board, but there is an unmistakable tendency for Ghanaian teachers to hold their students to particularly high standards which can at first feel demanding – not to mention surprising, given the generally laid-back nature of Ghanaian society. Yet this strict style on the part of the teachers is in part responsible for the remarkable educational achievements of Ghana’s own young student population.
The same factors that draw American and British students to Ghana have also attracted the attention of educational institutions in India. Many Indian colleges and universities have opened centers and even whole satellite campuses in Ghana, particularly Accra. These universities add diversity and international flavor to Ghana’s higher-education industry. The character and mission of these institutions, however, tends to be very different from those of their American and European counterparts. Whereas western programs tend to focus on cross-cultural, political, and environmental studies, the Indian universities are far more oriented toward technical fields such as business administration and information technology. These initiatives are accredited (and often funded) by the Indian government, which sees them as a method for integrating the economies of India and Ghana and thus building on their strong trade relations.