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A total of 231 graduands of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) have been awarded degrees in various disciplines at the first congregation of the University at a colourful ceremony witnessed by parents, guardians, friends and families at Tarkwa in the Western Region.

Out of the number, 197 graduands were awarded Bachelor of Science degrees whilst 34 graduands received Master of Science and Philosophy degrees in mining, mineral, geological, mechanical and electrical and engineering.

The ceremony was also used to confer honorary doctorate degrees on five distinguished Ghanaians in the person of Osagyefo Kwamina Enimil VI, Omanhene of Wassa Fiase Traditional Area, Ms. Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, former minister of state in charge of tertiary education in the erstwhile NPP government, Mr. Kofi Sarfo Ababio, a Tarkwa- based private legal practitioner and Mr. Stephen Saforo Yirenkyi, Community Affairs Manager Of Goldfields Ghana Limited and a hotelier.

In an address, Prof. D. Mireku-Gyimah Vice Chancellor recounted the genesis of UMaT from Tarkwa Technical Institute in 1952 through its metamorphoses to a full fledged university in 2004 empowered by an Act of Parliament (Act 677) to award its own certificates, diplomas and degrees.

Prof. Mireku-Gyimah paid tribute to Mr J. E. Philpott of blessed memory, Mr M. T. Kofi and Dr. J. K. Borsah, all past principals as well as Prof. F. O. Kwami, Prof. J.S.K. Ayim and the late Prof. K.A. Andam, past Vice Chancellors of KNUST who together cultivated a good academic culture in the institution that motivated the Government to issue a White Paper in 1986 to upgrade the institution to full-fledged University.

He said the strategic location of the university on one of the prominent gold belts in Ghana with a fascinating geological setting and proximity to operating mining companies, the new oil find and dedicated staff gives UMaT a unique advantage in the training of engineering students and expressed his happiness that for a third of a century, the institution has been training engineers of proven ability for the mining and related industries in Ghana and abroad.

The Vice Chancellor described the graduands as special breed of engineers who by all standards are good engineers, well prepared to enter the world of work to start their careers and indicated that he was proud to be a Vice Chancellor of a University whose graduates find employment readily.

Hon Alex Tetteh Enyo Minister of Education who deputized for the President Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills announced a GH 100 million package to support infrastructural development such as lecture halls, laboratories and workshops for the university in the next five years.

Hon Tetteh-Enyo said government recognized the role of UMaT in training skilled personnel for the mining and its related industries and stressed that the package was independent of the annual GETfund allocations.

In a valedictory speech, Emmanuel Agyare Acheampong a graduand and former SRC president of UMaT expressed satisfaction with the quality of education in the university but quickly called for the expansion of facilities to commensurate the rising student population.

Earlier in a welcome address, Prof. Bruce Banoeng-Yakubu, Chairman of the university Council took the opportunity to thank the Vice chancellor, staff, parents and other stakeholders for their efforts in training the graduands.