I have the privilege to welcome you to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Distance Learning (IDL-KNUST). Allow me to congratulate you for getting admission to this noble institution with the acronym KNUST. As you warm into your studies on programmes of IDL-KNUST, you will come to realise that indeed this is one of the best decisions you have ever made in your endeavours in education.
Demand for tertiary education, nationally and worldwide, in the last few decades has outstretched the limited resources of educational institutions. In short, whilst access to higher education has become critical, it is available to a minority few who can afford the high cost for education by traditional approach. The solution to this problem has been to utilize innovative approaches among which is Open and Distance Learning (ODL). KNUST’s PLAN 2K14 aimed at 50,000-student enrolment by 2015. In line with the objective to expand access to higher education, a new Faculty of Distance Learning (FDL) was established in 2005 under the College of Science to deliver programmes of study both on-going and new ones from all colleges of the University in the distance learning mode. Following approval by the academic board in October, 2007, FDL was re-designated as Institute of Distance Learning with much more leverage and autonomy to deal directly with all colleges of KNUST and other institutions.
The Institute currently provides limited facilitated Face-to-Face Sessions at ten (10) regional learning centres in Accra, Bolgatanga, Cape Coast (currently dormant except access), Ho, Koforidua, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, Sunyani, Tamale and Wa (currently dormant except access) and three (3) district learning centres in Akosombo (currently dormant), Tarkwa (currently dormant) and Tema. The Institute aims at bringing tertiary education to the doorstep of potential learners across the country and beyond. These centres provide learning support to learners living in different parts of the country, thus reducing travel expenses while maximising the educational development in the country. The Institute also has excellent facilities that facilitate e-learning by way of our Virtual Classroom (V-Class). The V-Class is equipped with quality course materials, videos and power point slides that are accessible to our students anywhere and at any time. The V-Class goes with an effective on-line library support system.
Starting in 2005 with three programmes, IDL-KNUST now offers over fifty (50) programmes—both undergraduate and postgraduate. Welcome to IDL-KNUST. To enjoy your stay, the keyword is learning. It is not for nothing that we do not have the Institute of Distance Teaching. Research has proven that the most effective way to acquire knowledge is when the process is learning-centred. At the end of the orientation program you were equipped with the processes and facilities that IDL-KNUST has put in place to offer you the best of opportunities to learn and enrich your knowledge bank.
We want you to acquire KNUST qualifications to improve your chances of getting promotions and/or better job offers. But more importantly, we want to produce knowledgeable graduates with competence to survive at the job market anywhere in the world—graduates that are going to be entrepreneurs in today’s knowledge-based economies. We do not intend to produce incompetent graduates who has just paper qualifications. I therefore entreat you all to take your programmes of study very serious and learn all the guidelines, for it is by these that you are going to be groomed into transformational leaders in the various facets of our economies.
At this juncture, I would like to express my gratitude to all the wonderful facilitators who have agreed to go the extra mile to help groom you as good KNUST distance learners to become qualified and competent graduates.
I wish you all godspeed in your journey to acquire more knowledge to improve your lots while working to put our countries in a higher pedestal of sustainable development.
Once again welcome to the place of the knot of wisdom—we shall take you through the intricacies of how to untie the knot from various perspectives.
Prof. Kwame Osei Boateng