Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Research in Humanities and Social Sciences
An Assessment of Conflict Resolution Practices in Ghanaian Public Universities: The Case of the University of Education, Winneba
George Hikah Benson (Ph.D.), Isaac Yaw Manu
The prevalence of conflicts in Institutions of Higher Learning is a global phenomenon, and is deep in history. Ghanaian public universities, which are no Islands of their own, have rich experiences to this end. Correspondingly, the conflict/dispute resolution mechanisms usually adopted by authorities and individuals within these spaces, are multifaceted—ranging from dialogue to judicial determinations. This modest study that covered a five-year period, examined the efficacy of such mechanisms in the quest to resolve conflicts within campuses, with specific reference to the University of Education, Winneba. As hinted, the research design is a case study that adopts a qualitative methodological approach; involving 30 respondents that were purposely selected from the study area from amongst both Junior and Senior members. Findings are that: causes of conflicts in public universities are multifaceted and sometimes come with external influences from governments and other state agencies; conflicts within campuses many times have devastating effects, involving loss of lives, destruction of property, and the disruption of academic work. Moreover, Conflict Management Strategies usually adopted by public universities that include Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism (ADRs) are effective, accounting for the timeous restoration of peace. To that end, the study recommends that: Conflict Resolution Committees, whose members are professionals with relevant conflict resolution skills, are setup to resolve conflicts within campuses to minimize resort to external judicial processes; additionally, peace education lessons be incorporated into university programmes. The study aside from adding to scholarly literature, equips policy-makers of Public Universities in responding to conflicts.
keywords: committees; government; judicial; mechanisms; and peace.