Students Sue Methodist University College

Eighty-three students who were withdrawn from the Methodist University College, Ghana, have sued the university, the National Accreditation Board (NAB) and the Ministry of Education, seeking a declaration that their purported withdrawal was unlawful and against their constitutional rights. They are further seeking an order of injunction against the university whether by itself, agents or privies from re-opening the school for the 2012/2013 academic year on August 17, 2012, until the final determination of the suit. The plaintiffs are also seeking a perpetual injunction directed at the defendants to restrain them from interfering with the plaintiffs right to equal educational opportunities and facilities as citizens of Ghana, and a further order to permit the plaintiffs to continue their education in the Methodist University College. The writ was filed by Puozuing & Associates, an Accra-based legal firm, at the Accra Human Rights High Court on July 25, 2012. In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs described themselves as students of the Methodist University College, Ghana until they were withdrawn in June, this year, while the NAB was a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament and responsible for the accreditation of both public and private institutions in respect of the contents and standards of programmes run by the institutions. The university, according to them, was a private tertiary institution registered under the laws of Ghana and certified by NAB to provide tertiary education to the public, while the Ministry of Education was also responsible for education in Ghana. The plaintiffs said the university caused a publication to be carried out in the Daily Graphic of Friday, January 7, 2012 to the effect that suitably qualified candidates could enrol for admission in the 2011/2012 academic year. According to the plaintiffs, based on that public advertisement, they applied for and obtained admission to the university to pursue their respective programmes for the 2011/2012 academic year. They said they were issued with admission letters and student identity cards after they had paid tuition fees, which ranged between GH1,400 and GH2,686 or more depending on the course offered to them by the university. The former students said that at all material times, they acted in good faith and had complied with the admission requirements published by the university in the Daily Graphic advertisement. They said the university represented to them in the said advertisement that they qualified for admission and had so admitted them to the university and acknowledged receipt of their tuition fees. The plaintiffs said the purported attempt by the defendants to withdraw them from the university without any fault on their part was in flagrant disregard for their constitutional right to equal opportunities as citizens of Ghana. They said until and unless the court intervened, the defendants had evinced a clear intention to withdraw them from the university without a just cause.