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Does UTG have what it takes to offer PhD?
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Does UTG have what it takes to offer PhD?

Following the announcement of the Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia that the institution is ready to offer PhD, many have raised eyebrows as to whether the UTG has what it takes for such an undertaking in academics.

Professor Dr Faqir Muhammad Anjum Chaudhry revealed during the launching ceremony that they are partnering with the University of Ibadan in Nigeria which has already concluded the development of the curricula in diverse fields.

Although he described it as an exciting development in the history of higher education in the country, the disclosure came under intense criticism that there are other priorities yet to be fulfilled.

Yunus Hydara, a popular social media commentator, wrote on his Facebook page: “Gambians love titles; the university will provide just that! I believe in building from bottoms up. Provide programs and invest on facilities that will enhance undergraduate studies. If you do not have a library and internet, then you should focus on that.”

In reaction to Yunus’s post, Omar Gassama wrote; “Not a wise decision at all. The UTG is at a very deplorable condition, lacking every basic facility and most importantly the quality of education there is very poor.”

Another outspoken social media commentator, Femi Mahoney argued that there is no need for the UTG to rush into PhD programmes.

“How about controlling the number and amount of undergraduates the university is churning out at an alarming out?

“At this point in time, the government should concentrate in regulating the tertiary educational system by reducing the number of secondary schools and increasing vocational institutions throughout the length and breadth of the country. This is good because it will address the skills shortage in the country and prepare youths with lifelong skills.”

Despite the disapproval, many expressed about the university’s decision, to others, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Alhassan Darboe, a Gambian based in the US and a product of the UTG told What’s On-Gambia: “I think UTG starting PhD programs is amazing as it is a laudable initiative. Now that the announcement is made, they should set about aggressively recruiting top notch Gambian academics around the world, which there is so many of, to come back, nurture and share their knowledge and expertise with the students enrolling in the programs.

“People should have confidence in the UTG’s ability to provide world class education given the availability of its technological and learning infrastructure. Remember tooling’s affiliation with a top African university like Ibadan will give it an edge in providing quality graduate education for Gambians without us ever needing to go abroad to obtain higher degrees.”

The University of the Gambia since inception in 1999 has graduated thousands of students some of whom are doing remarkably well in various disciplines. However, the institution earlier this year was involved in a corruption scandal where the faculty staff demanded the resignation of the Vice Chancellor and the dissolution of the senior management team.


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