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College of Science-KNUST aligns with SDGs

College of Science-KNUST aligns with SDGs

The 9th KNUST Summer School was held on the theme “SDGs and Universities: Actions Towards KNUST’s Mandate at 70 and Beyond”. It started on 31st August and ended on 3rd September, 2021. This year’s Summer School programme which decentralized to the Colleges and Units for the various category of staff.  The Senior Members in the College of Science-KNUST have identified and outlined various strategies towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These were itemized as follows:

  1. Identified some existing plans that promote SDGS at the college
  • Renewable and affordable clean energy.
  • Food processing.
  • Weather forecasting and weather-driven disease modeling.
  • Disease control and treatment.
  • Production of indelible ink
  • Production of enzymes
  1. Identified existing ongoing actions that promote SDGS at the college
  • Computer surveillance systems (SDG 9)
  • COVID 19 modelling team in partnership with Ghana Academy of Arts and Science (SDG 3 & 17)
  • Online purchasing apps and systems (SDG 13)
  • Clean energy, water treatment and quality assessment (SDG 6, 7, 9, 13)
  • Infectious disease of Poverty (Trypanosomiasis) / zoonosis/ Neglected Tropical Disease research.
  • Gender equality (SDG 5)-The Whitaker award supporting females in science & WiSTEM mentorship for female scientists.
  • Zero Hunger -Food processing unit at the department of Food Science
  • Industrialization- SSLAKO at Physics developing research apparatus and instruments for science experiments for second cycle institutions. (SDG 9)
  1. Strategies to map out these existing plans and actions
  • Prepare course objectives and contents geared towards attainment of the SDGs
  • Set up groups at the college to target specific SDGs e.g. clean energy, clean water and sanitation, good health and wellbeing etc.
  • Documentation of SDGs oriented activities
  • Properly rebrand and update all programs at the college
  • Senior members should identify research area under one or more of the SDGs
  • Promote collaborative research among different disciplines
  • Postgraduate students should be challenged to conduct SDGs-related research and come up with policy briefs that can inform policy implementation.
  • Establish Center for Data Sciences to meet SDG 17.
  • Establish task force to monitor and evaluate all activities on SDGs at the College.
  1.   Identified teaching opportunities within the SDGs for college of Science
  • Hands on activities, exploring different approach, industrial attachment etc
  • Student centered learning, eg students themselves serving as facilitators
  • Problem-based learning
  • Mindset change to be incorporated in teaching
  • Introduce students to SDGs as early as first year and challenge them to align their projects towards them.
  • Award students for innovative SDG ideas.
  • Entrepreneurship to create job opportunities
  1. Identified research opportunities within the SDGs for College of Science
  • Nutrition (2)
  • Innovation (9)
  • Solar drier and solar cold storage (9) to solve postharvest problems
  • Partnership (17)
  • Quality Education (4)
  • Converting CO2 to formic acid as a hydrogen storage for hydrogen car (13, 7)
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Zeolite water filters in Physics towards providing clean water.
  • Mathematical modeling of traffic situations.
  • Modeling and forecasting of climate driven diseases.
  1. Identify community service opportunities within the SDGs for College of Science
  • Good Health (SDG 3)- Establish screening centre in one of the communities around KNUST, Educate the public on environmental health and Organize workshop for food vendors on the need for quality and hygienic foods.
  • Quality Education (SDG 4)- Establish science without borders unit in the college to provide teaching to deprive communities and Organize workshop for teachers in deprive communities to sensitize them on quality education.
  • Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6)- Educate communities on the best way to manage waste, setting aside some budget to help provide accessible and portable waters to some schools within the communities.
  • Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)- Strategize to adopt a community, write proposal for it development, set aside a budget for the community development, and sustain it for a period.
  1. Teaching gaps within the SDGs for the college of science
  • Large class sizes reduce the quality of education (SDG4)
  • Gender imbalance among faculty members (SDG 5)
  • Lack the practical skills upon graduation.
  • Not intentionally emphasized the SDGs in teaching
  • Lack of conferences and industrial workshops for students


  1. Research gaps within the SDGs for College of Science
  • Student-lecturer ratio imbalance affecting proper project supervision
  • Lack of clarity in specific SDGs tackled by researchers
  1. Community service gaps within the SDGs for College of Science
  • Financial constraints
  • Huge teaching workload of staff preventing community engagement.
  • No community-needs assessment in order to identify problems
  • No departmental budget for community service activities.
  1. Teaching priorities within the SDGs for College of Science
  • Senior members must know the SDGs and incorporate them in the course objectives
  • Teaching policies should be oriented towards attaining SDGs.
  • Students given projects to meet specific SDGs.
  • Emphasize problem-based learning and other innovative ways for brainstorming.
  • Identify problems and challenge students to offer solutions with reward.
  1. Research priorities within the SDGs for College of Science
  • Climate change
  • Nano technology
  • Food security
  • Solar energy
  • Semi-conductor materials
  • Enzyme production
  1. Community service priorities within the SDGs for College of Science

Community education

  • Mass media outreach on health and wellbeing, drug use and abuse
  • Waste collection and segregation for easy recycling
  • Illegal mining (galamsey)

Basic schools

  • Education in basic schools against plastic pollution
  • Increased girl-child education for gender parity in the tertiary institutions
  • Prevention of teenage pregnancy
  1. Strategies to identify opportunities, gaps and priorities within the SDGs for College of Science.
  • Outreach to communities.
  • Conducting seminars, conferences and workshops to educate the faculty.
  • Recognition of staff contribution to community services in terms of points towards promotion.
  • Designated resources to support community service.
  • Creation of a database for health and safety concerns to identify and address problems.
  1. Ways to integrate the SDGs within the University’s strategies, policies and actions
  • A policy on the SDGs, outlining the strategies and actions to achieve them. For example, there are policies on gender, sexual harassment etc., therefore SDGs must be part of them.
  • University should be clear on the strategies, policies and actions to achieve the SDGs with set timelines so that the Departments, Faculties and College can align.
  • The policies, strategies and actions should highlight specific SDGs of target
  • The University should have annual catchy phrases or themes focused on specific SGDs that are echoed throughout the year.
  1. Ways to embed the SDGs within the University’s strategies, policies and actions
  • Identify specific SDGs and then make them part of our curriculum
  • Reform and revise our teaching in practice and theory to align with the SDGs
  • PhD projects should clearly state specific SDGs they seek to address
  • Pull ups and banners of various SDGs should be placed at vantage points at the department, faculty and college levels to increase visibility
  • Profile of staff members should be updated to include specific SDGs which are being targeted on their research.
  • Conduct community-needs assessment and identify which ones can be addressed in the context of SDGs.
  • Establish a monitoring team to assess progress.
  1.  Ways to implement the SDGs within the University’s strategies, policies and actions
  • Adopting the top-bottom down approach.
  • Clearly state specific SDGs we are adopting
  • Research topics should clearly identify particular SDGs we are addressing
  • Clearly communicating our results and findings to the community in lay man terms for clear understanding.
  1. How the University can effectively integrate, embed and implement the SDGs in its community service strategies and policies?
  • Collaboration of the university with the industry.
  • Mechanism to know the needs of the communities by engaging opinion leaders.
  • Research to find gaps in the communities.
  • Annual budget to support community service.
  • Science without borders/Science at your doorsteps – going to basic schools and public to disseminate our research.
  • Align community services to attainment of the SDGs.
  • Make use of the mass media to advertise our research and findings for the community
  1.  Overcoming challenges associated with SDGs in the university.
  • Problem: Bureaucracy


  1. Have a specific unit that deals with SDGs
  2. Strategize and limit ourselves to a few SDGs which we can effectively tackle
  • Problem: Resources and financial constraints


  1. Align our research to funding sources which are also focused on the SDGs
  • Problem: Ignorance and illiteracy in the communities


  1. University should find a way to educate our communities on the SDGs
  2. Find innovative ways to sell what we have to the public
  1.  Opportunities the University can build its future on regarding SDG’s
  • Use science and technology to improve SDGs 7, 9, 2 and 13
  • Improving quality of education, research and service to community
  • Innovations and building strong institutions as well as forming deliberate partnerships
  • Efficient management of resources (using energy-efficient gadgets such as ACs, light bulbs etc.)
  • Expertise of human resource should be leveraged to make significant impact in our societies
  • Encourage the URO to work better to improve communication of research findings to be implemented at the community levels

At the College level, the 9th KNUST Summer School programme was facilitated by the Provost and some Professors in the College of Science. Senior Members participated actively. The College of Science Seminar and Conference Committee together with the Summer School Subcommittee supported with the arrangements that made the event successful. It is expected that further deliberations will continue with the necessary actions or implementations.

CoS Summer School subcommittee