The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has secured a scholarship package for Ghanaian students to study at the prestigious University of Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States of America (USA).
Under the deal, qualified Ghanaian students will travel to Memphis University to undertake their undergraduate, master’s and PhD.
Up to 70 per cent of the opportunity is reserved for students who will undertake courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The Ghana Scholarship Secretariat and the authorities of the University of Memphis last week signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect at the school, sealing the deal that spells out the modalities for the implementation of the scholarship.
Briefing the Daily Graphic upon his return from the USA, the Registrar of the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat, Dr Kingsley Agyemang, noted that the Asantehene last year, as a special guest to the famed Memphis in May Festival, made a request for scholarship for Ghanaian students.
He said although the initial target was for only students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the Asantehene later called for its expansion to cover more Ghanaian students.
“So a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Ghana Scholarships Secretariat and the University of Memphis which will allow Ghanaian students to undertake their undergraduate, master’s, and PhD at the university. This deal, I must confess, is a blessing for Ghanaian students,” he said.
Dr Agyemang said because the city of Memphis was home to some global brands, the secretariat was working out the possibility for Ghanaian students who got the opportunity to study at the university to undertake their internship there in those industries in a bid to ‘use one stone to kill two birds’.
“It is important to underscore that the city of Memphis is the headquarters of so many globally acclaimed companies such as Fed Ex, Autozone, Sedgwick Jone Incorporated, International Paper, Baptist Memorial Healthcare, First Horizon National Incorporated (NYSE: FHN) and Mueller Industries,” Dr Agyemang said.
“What this means is that academics and industry will gradually be bridged as these companies will provide essential internship programmes for Ghanaian students. Discussions between these companies and the Ghana Scholarships Secretariat have started,” he added.
He said this formed part of the nation’s drive to create the creative, innovative, knowledgeable and experienced human resource that would lead the charge in accelerating the industrialisation agenda to position the nation for accelerated development.
Asked about when Ghanaian students would be able to fly to Memphis to start their studies under this agreement, Dr Agyemang said very soon the opportunity would be advertised for prospective students to apply and those who made it would commence their studies at the Memphis University from September 2023.
Dr Agyemang commended the Asantehene for brokering such a crucial deal for Ghanaian students, particularly for those into the area of STEM, adding that “Otumfuo has shown leadership and demonstrated how he values education. This scholarship is not for just Asanteman but Ghana as a whole”.
“I must also say we are grateful to the former Minister of Education, now Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, for his interest in this scholarship and the necessary inputs he provided us to make it successful,” he said.
After the MoU, the Ghanaian delegation, led by Dr Agyemang, toured the university to inspect lecture theatres, laboratories, hostels and other facilities.
The Ghanaian entourage also included the Head of International Relations & Partnerships, Richard Gyamfi; the Head of Treasury, Ghana Embassy, Washington D.C., Janet Koranteng, and a member of the Scholarship Review Committee, Nana Owiredu Wadie.
The University of Memphis was represented by the Interim Provost, Dr Abby L. Parril; the Executive Vice -President and Chief Operating & Financial Officer, Raaj Kurapati; the Vice Provost, and International Affairs, Dr Balaji Krishnan, and the Executive Director, Centre for International Education Services, Rebecca Laumann.