Establishment of sustainable estates development and maintenance scheme in public Ghanaian Universities: a case study of University of Education, Winneba

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The estates portfolio of public Ghanaian universities is connected with the provision of crucial services to the staff and students towards the realization of the mission and vision of the universities. The estates and human resources are the main assets of public Ghanaian universities for the attainment of their ultimate goals. The estates also play a major role in the overall access of the citizenry to university education in Ghana. The provision of adequate physical facilities for academic work and other social services and the maintenance of these estates on sustainable basis are considered fundamental and ranks second only to the human resources for the attainment of the overall mission and vision of public Ghanaian universities. In the early decades of university education in Ghana, the estate facilities seemed adequate and access to university education was more secured. Currently, however, there is a mis-match between estates development and maintenance and the user population that exists in the public Ghanaian universities. There is overcrowding in almost all the existing physical facilities since the user population is over and above the designed capacities of the existing estates. The study adopted an integrative research approach which combined the relevant element of case study, quantitative, qualitative and participatory research techniques. The study investigated into the past situation, current situation, preferred situation and what needs to be done. The primary data were collected through purposive sampling with structured questionnaire, interviews, surveys, observations and content reviews. The study covered only the public Ghanaian universities but not the entire tertiary institutions. It became evident from the research that there is a mis-match between estates development and maintenance and the user population. The study also established that estates development/maintenance is on ad-hoc basis due to many factors like inadequate funding, non-implementation of scheme, inadequate budget provisions and university management embarking on too many projects in particular years. The study concludes with such recommendations as private participation through attractive procurement methods like lease agreement and the Build, Operate and Transfer systems; adoption and practice of medium and long term estates development programmes; adoption of planned preventive maintenance policy; improving internally generated sources of funding among others, to ensure that estates development and maintenance matches with the user population in the universities.
A dissertation submitted to the Department of Building Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in fulfilment of requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy degree, 2005