EducationGhana| May 05| How to become a Professor at any University in Ghana:
A professor commonly abbreviated as Prof. is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries.
In most countries, the rank of a professor is the most senior academic position one can attend. Informally, they are referred to as “full professors”.
Where the word professor is used in titles of lower ranks such as an associate professor or assistant professor, the word is colloquially used for anyone in an academic post. That is obtainable in the United States.
In Ghana and other countries in Africa, a teacher at the tertiary education level is called a lecturer. The highest possible rank a lecturer can attain, especially in a university, is that of a professor.
It is common that a professor teaches the undergraduate, professional and postgraduate courses, and conducts research in his/her area of specialisation.
Minimum Requirements for Becoming a Professor in Ghana
Before you are promoted to the rank of a professor in Ghana, there are certain requirements that you must meet. Below are the minimum requirements for becoming a professor in Ghana.
A Doctorate Degree in Specialized Area
Anyone aspiring to become a professor must have an area of specialization and would only attain a professorship in the area. The person must have obtained a doctorate degree in that specific area of specialisation.
For medical scientists, a recognised professional fellowship is generally accepted although, in a few years’ time, insistence on a doctorate degree in the special area of medicine will be the acceptable minimum.
Years of Teaching Experience
Aside from obtaining a doctorate in an area of specialization, a candidate is also expected to have several years of teaching experience too.
In this context, years of experience means, the years you spent teaching in a university or other tertiary-level institution. So, years teaching at primary or secondary schools will not be considered.
The person is expected to have, at least, three years of teaching, research and community service at each of the four main levels of lectureship. These levels are Lecturer Grade 2, Lecturer Grade 1, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor.
Therefore, before being considered for promotion or appointment to the rank of Full Professor, the academic/scholar would have put in a minimum of twelve years of university teaching and research.
Assessment of Scholarship
This is the most important requirement needed to become a professor in Ghana. Without this, you could remain a Senior Lecturer or an Associate Professor for as long as possible.
The assessment of scholarship involves an evaluation of the published works of the full professorial candidate by seasoned much senior full Professors in the field of the candidate.
Publication of articles in high-impact international journals increases the candidate’s chances. Classically, a minimum of 60 internationally-published works will qualify a candidate to receive a positive assessment.
At least one of the assessors is expected to be from a well-ranked university outside Ghana, preferably from Europe or North America (I doubt if this is the case).
Two positive assessments will, at least, qualify the candidate for the final step, which is screening via a rigorous oral interview.
The interview is a composite assessment of the candidate on teaching (length and quality) research (scores returned by the eternal assessors) and community service (internal and external).
This process of seeking approval from the academic community of one’s academic credentials for a professorship is called habilitation.
With an overall score exceeding a set minimum by the university, the candidate is then processed to the University Council for appointment as a professor.
There may be variations to how each university finally admits a professorial candidate but older universities would always give priority to these minimum requirements.
Steps To Become A Professor in Ghana
Having said that, let’s just take you through the necessary steps of becoming a professor in Ghana.
- Earn an undergraduate degree
- Choose a field to specialize in
- Earn a graduate degree
- Get teaching experience in a tertiary institution
- Get a post-doctoral experience
- Publish relevant articles
How to Become a Professor in Ghana
Firstly, before an applicant is appointed or promoted to any of the ranks the Academic and Promotions Board would have to assess the applicant in respect of the following: scholarship, research/contribution to knowledge, teaching, academic leadership, inventiveness and extension work/service.
Other factors that the Board looks at include the applicant’s contribution to the intellectual life of the University or country, contribution to University Boards/Committees, and national and international recognition.
For the most part, the applicant would have to also show proof of academic works published, and these publications would have been published in internationally recognized and respected academic journals.
In Ghana, the promotion from Assistant Lecturer to Lecturer is done within two years of the first appointment.
The promotion from Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor (Reader) would require that the applicant should have published a minimum of 12 academic publications in internationally acclaimed journals.
And to be promoted from Associate Professor to Full Professor, the applicant should have published a minimum of 20 publications and among others should have attended international conferences and workshops. Attendance of international conferences and workshops applies to all applicants.
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