The third Embassy Forum came off on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at the Wisconsin International University College, Ghana (WIUC). The forum which is an annual event brought together stakeholders in the educational sector and some foreign missions in Ghana to discuss the challenges facing international students and recommend solutions to enhance their experiences and study while in Ghana.
The topic for this year’s discussion was “Resident Permit,” “Immigration,” and “Verification of Certificates and Admission into University Programmes.”
The Director of International Relations and Graduate School of WIUC, Mr. Ebenezer Amuasi, mentioned that Wisconsin International University, Ghana has absorbed the cost involved in the application and processing fee of resident permits for international students.
Speaking on “Resident Permit and Immigration Challenges,” the Deputy Commissioner of Immigration, Maud Anima Quainoo urged international students to process their resident permits on time to avoid penalties. She said it is illegal for immigration officers at the point of entry to extort money from immigrants.
The Deputy Commissioner explained that if a student leaves the country without notifying the service, he or she is liable for a penalty on arrival except in the case of vacation. She warned students not to deal with middlemen when applying for a resident permit.
The Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery of WIUC, Dr. Angela Acheampong, noted that for an international student to read Nursing and Midwifery programs, he or she must go to Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) to get their results validation done before they proceed to the university for admission, adding that once validation is done, it is the responsibility of the university to approach the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana (NMC) for indexing.
However, Diploma nurses and midwives practicing in their countries of origin and who want to do a top-up into the degree program would have to go to GTEC and NMC for validation.”
The President of the National Youth Council of Mali in Ghana, Mr. Muntaka Diakite, recommended that there should be a partnership between GTEC and the embassies to make the verification of documents easier.
The Second Secretary of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana, Mr. Christian Jibo, also suggested that universities should liaise with the education ministry in the respective countries instead of dealing directly with the schools. He noted that doing a background check on the internet alone is not enough because some schools have posted fake information about their institutions on their websites.
Obe Peter, the President of the International Students’ Association of the Pentecost University in Ghana recommended that the embassies should support students from their respective countries with scholarships to help ease the financial pressure on them. He added that Ghana Immigration Service should provide students with work permits to aid them to gain employment while schooling. He concluded by saying that embassies should collaborate with the Government of Ghana to eliminate the two-year rent advance payment in Ghana.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB), Mr. Tetteh Kwao Padi, commended WIUC-GH for supporting the board in its advocacy for refugees to pay the same fees as local students. He noted that a lot of refugees in Ghana have benefited from tertiary education through the support of the board and other stakeholders in the educational sector.
Story by: Dorcas Abena Gyan Boateng
Wisconsin Radio, Ghana.