The University of Energy and Natural Resources has graduated a total of 628 students who pursued various degree programmes in the university. Of the number, 299 pursued engineering programmes whiles 110 received various degrees from the school of sciences. With 219 receiving degrees in Natural Resources.

Addressing the 2nd congregation at the Sunyani campus of the university, the Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said that government will roll out a number of initiative to address challenges that will arise at the universities and other tertiary institutions from the implementation of the free SHS policy.  He said the government would continue to invest in higher education through the provision of infrastructure, laboratory equipment, capacity development, ICT infrastructure, accommodation, among others, to enable the universities to fulfill their mandate“Despite the massive growth witnessed in the tertiary education sector since the 2000s, the gross enrolment ratio in the tertiary education is still low, compared with other African countries”, he said.

He said access to tertiary education in the country, as a measure of gross enrolment ratio was about 12 percent, which translated into the enrolment figures ranging from 280, 000 to 350,000. The Vice-President said government’s free SHS initiative could be used to increase enrolment in the tertiary education sector comparable to levels in other African countries.

On science education, he stated that government has observed over a couple of years that universities in the country had drifted away from science, technology and mathematics into humanities in a ratio of 40:60, adding that “for a country to leap forward in this age, we must put emphasis on science, technology and mathematics”. Alhaji Dr Bawumia commended UENR for demonstrating strength and growth since its establishment five years ago, in spite of the difficulties. “I am optimistic that the UENR, as a new generation university, will start new grounds for the benefit of the country”, he said and exhorted the university to stimulate research into science and technology, especially in energy, climate change and natural resources in Africa.

He noted that the government is aware of the challenges, such as inadequate classrooms, students and staff accommodation, laboratories, library facilities, IT infrastructure, staff recruitment, funding, among others, facing the UENR. Alhaji Dr Bawumia directed the Brong Ahafo regional director of urban roads to, as a matter of urgency, place the UENR on priority projects and prepare estimates on the roads on the campus for submission to his office through the regional minister for subsequent action. He also implored the GETFund to place the UENR on its priority list to enable the institution to address its immediate difficulties in respect of classroom and laboratory challenges to enhance teaching and learning within the shortest possible time.

The vice-chancellor of the UENR, Prof. Harrison Kwame Dapaah, said from the initial intake of 154 students in 2012, the current student population, inclusive of postgraduate and undergraduate students, stood at 3,613. Those students were distributed across the five schools in the university, namely the School Of Natural Resources, The School of Engineering, The School of Sciences, The School of Agriculture and Technology and the School of Graduate Studies, he said.

 In the face of the challenges confronting the UENR, he appealed to the government to endow the university with seed money of GH50million, in addition to an annual allocation of GH 10million for the next 10 years.  That, according to him would enable the university to meet the high cost of running a multi-campus system and also implement the 10-year Strategic Plan (2016-2026) launched on April 8, 2016.