Nowadays, many universities are championing the idea of becoming a research-intensive university to be able to have world class recognition as it is seen as a necessity to contribute to growth in the national economy. This requires that a university has certain things in place
such as the adequate research funding, more infrastructural resources, the required academic staff, and, above all, high research output in the form of publications and PhDs. National flagship universities in the developed countries such as Europe and North America were found to be doing well with regard to the above-mentioned elements, which has given many of them a world-class research-intensive university status.
This has served as a wakeup call to the universities in Africa to improve their research performance as it is now highly recognized as the roadmap to ensuring economic growth. Most of the African universities, therefore, started redefining their vision and mission to have the research component as one of their major goals. Hence, the vision of the University of Ghana is to become a world-class research-intensive university by 2024. To assess the achievability of this vison, the study looked at where the university used to be in terms of its
research function, and how far it has come, to be able to make predictions about its future.
The findings revealed that the institution has progressed in its research function compared to some years back. This is, at least, evident in the improved research funding, effective
personnel policies, increasing number of academic staff with a doctorate degree, increasing number of graduate admissions, and the increasing number of research publications which have all contributed to an improvement in the rankings of the university (though rankings can be criticized for being subjective in character).
Funding, however, was again identified as the key problem limiting the research activities of the academics as most of their external funding come from the donor agencies that usually
have their own thematic priorities which is different from that of the individual academics or the institution in general. This usually has a limitation on the number of academic publications by these academics. In addition, the academics find it difficult to apply for
internal funding as it is plagued with poor procedural mechanisms such as nepotism and institutional bureaucracy. Also, the more teaching load of the academics hinder them from engaging in active research activities.
Finally, the findings reveal that the three management levels in this study (central leadership, departmental heads, and the academics) have different views about the level of importance
attached to research at the University of Ghana. To the central leadership, research in the university is very important and it should become even more important than teaching. The departmental leadership, on the other hand, think that the level of importance attached to research is not alright and more should be done to make it better. Yet, the academics are of the view that the facilities of the university point more towards teaching than research leading to their conclusion that research in the university is less important at this time.