Mr Speaker, I am most grateful. I would just like to point out to Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah that we have already amended clause 3, so the proposed amendment for clause 24 is consistent with the new rendition of clause 3.
I would also like to place on record that this House has been consistent. When the University of Health and Allied Sciences Act was passed, we specified the specific towns, Ho and Hohoe. When we passed the University of Energy and Natural Resources Act, we also specified, that is Sunyani, Fiapre and Dormaa Ahenkro.
So, we have been consistent, and I would like to believe that we can continue on that consistent trajectory.
I would also like to use this opportunity to point out that, the policy to have a public university in a region is not tied to capitals. The very principle of having a public university in every region -- It is equity that informs that principle.
So, if we have a situation where some regional capitals have a considerable
congestion of tertiary institutions -- Private universities and polytechnics which are soon going to become technical universities -- We want to still go and site our new public universities in those same locations, meanwhile the very principle of equity, wanting to spread out so that every Ghanaian living everywhere in every part of a region can have a chance, I think we would be defeating the very principle of equity if we become too sentimental about capitals.
I did make the point earlier that we sited public universities in this country but we did not site them in capital towns. For example, University of Mines and Technology (UMAT) in Tarkwa and University of Education Winneba (UEW).
I also believe what we are doing now, the Eastern Region is very privileged. This is because if we look at what we have done in the past, satellite campuses -- For example, when the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was established, its satellite campuses were in other regions, its forestry campus was in Brong Ahafo Region, its mining campus was in the Western Region and they have now sited a new campus in the Greater -Accra Region.
When we take University for Develop- ment Studies (UDS), its satellite campuses are in other regions; Wa in the Upper West Region and Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region. When we take the UEW, all of its satellite campuses are outside the Central Region. We have the Kumasi campus in the Ashanti Region and Mampong campus in the Ashanti Region.
I believe that what we are doing, we are being fair to the Eastern Region; Somanya and Donkorkrom both are in the Eastern Region. I hope that Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo would take note that Donkorkrom and Somanya are in the Eastern Region and not outside the region.
With this new amendment, which freezes the hand of the University Council to select satellite campuses in any part of Ghana, including the Eastern Region, I believe it is fair.
Finally, Mr Speaker, I would also want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that, in modern trends in university establishment, the focus is not only on brick and mortar; it is not only on physical campuses. We now have vir tual campuses where students can be in other jurisdictions and pursue their academic careers. So, we should not be fixated on just geographic locations and physical structures. I think we would be limiting the scope if we focus in that direction.