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The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has demanded an apology from the Vice Chancellor of the University of Media, Arts, and Communication (UniMAC), Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, for his comments on the Book and Research Allowances (BRA) given to lecturers.

This was after UTAG expressed disappointment in the comments of Prof Kwansah-Aidoo

Professor Kwansah-Aidoo had said during a public lecture organized by the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, regarding the Book and Research Allowances (BRA), that the lecturers receive the money but with few results to show for it.

“The way we fund academic research can be done better, and I think instead of giving money to people at the end of the year, it should be made in such a way that people apply for some kind of money to use it for specific research. And then they must show the outcome of the research through publications and reports so that there’s enough accountability in the money received.”

“For now, we get the money, and I don’t even know what we do with it. We still publish, but in some way, there are people who sit there for 3 years, and they haven’t published [anything]. They have received Book and Research Allowances for 3 years, so where’s the money gone to?” he asked.

However, UTAG, in a statement issued on February 3, 2024, hit back at the UniMAC Vice Chancellor, describing his comments as ‘condescending’ and ‘distasteful’.

“It is disheartening to note that such significant remarks were made with a limited understanding of what the BRA is used for. We find his comments as coming from a place of disdain and a depiction of a long-standing culture of some academics climbing to the top and turning back to remove the very ladder that led them there. His statement that he does not know what academics do with the BRA is condescending, distasteful, and pretentious, to say the least.”

UTAG added “To set the record straight, the BRA has been a crucial component in supporting the academic pursuits and professional development of our members, fostering a culture of research excellence within our university communities. Our research activities do not only end up in scholarly publications as purported by the Vice Chancellor.

“They also end up enhancing the pedagogics in the lecture rooms and a broader contribution to society. This is why the Union has always stated that the BRA has not been sufficient in delivering the core of research and book purchases,” UTAG said in its statement.

When contacted, Prof Kwansah-Aidoo declined to comment on the issues raised by UTAG.

By Laud Nartey