The administration of the University of Liberia has submitted its application to the National Commission on Higher Education to allow it to offer doctoral degrees in education and public health.
The first of its kind move by the Univeristy came after an extended period of intensive consultations, curriculum formulation, content gathering, and design, with participation from educational stakeholders in the sector.
William V.S. Tubman College of Education and the College of Health Sciences at the UL spearheaded the effort that culminated in a formal submission to the NCHE on December 18.
Once approved by the commission, the doctoral program in education will offer Ph.D in educational administration, measurement and evaluation, curriculum study, and instruction.
Similarly, for the doctoral program in public Health, a Ph.D. will be offered in specialized areas of study including biomedical sciences, epidemiology, and biostatistics.
According to the UL Vice President for Graduate Education and Research, Dr. Jonathan C. Taylor, the university also plans for the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) School of International Relations to launch another doctoral program in public and international Affairs in 2024.
Taylor also disclosed a similar plan that is being concluded by Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities to also offer Ph.D. in specialized disciplines.
He expressed the UL Graduate Schools’ readiness to further improve the human resource capacity of Liberians through the provision of terminal degrees in specialized disciplines through research.
“The role of human resource development through research and the advancement of higher education cannot be separated from national development,” Taylor emphasized.
He further pointed out that Liberia’s demand is for national development and it has therefore become imperative that institutions of higher learning like the UL conform to meeting those demands by providing the requisite knowledge to students through quality research.
Meanwhile, Taylor disclosed that a few faculty members who are to conduct teaching and learning and manage the program have already been identified.
Formally presenting the application to the Director General of NCHE, Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor, UL President Dr. Julius Nelson, thanked the committee for the professional work.
Nelson described the ceremony as a moment of truth and excitement for higher education in Liberia, noting, “It is important and we are happy to see this happen because we [UL] provide the biggest opportunity for higher education in Liberia.”
He paid homage to his predecessors whose plans and ideas his administration has completed and met all the requirements for the provision of doctoral degrees at the UL.
Receiving the application, Wonkeryor congratulated the UL Administration and Faculty for delivering on one of its important responsibilities of applying to offer. Ph.D. in specialized disciplines at the nation’s premier University.
“It is compelling and necessary for the provision of doctoral degrees here at the UL considering the long existence and the strategic role the institution plays in developing Liberia’s human capacity,” Wonkeryor stressed.
He asked the UL to prepare and admit outstanding students into its doctoral programs to put them on par with other institutions of higher learning in the subregion and around the world.
“I recommend that you prepare students who are real scholars and professionals and not pseudo-scholars into your doctoral programs,” Wonkeryor urged.
It is anticipated that following the review of the application submitted by the UL to the NCHE authority, accreditation will be granted for the official launch of the programs in early 2024.