In 1987 a massive reform in the educational sector was introduced to address the manpower needs of the country. According to Daniel (1998) “The reforms sought to increase access to higher education institutions in Ghana and also, to diversify the curriculum to provide more especially of science, technology and vocational training….”
The government of the day, the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), set up the University Rationalization Committee (URC) to formulate a policy framework for development of tertiary education in Ghana. A government White Paper based on the URC recommendations, was formulated to articulate the reforms intended in the tertiary education sector.
The “White Paper on the Reforms to Tertiary Education System 1991” became the basis for a Tertiary Education Project (1993-1998).
As part of the efforts to mitigate the problems affecting higher education, the reforms of 1988 and the subsequent government White Paper of 1991 broadened the scope of tertiary institutions to include the Universities (both public and private), Polytechnics, Colleges of Education (former teacher training colleges), the Ghana Institute of Languages, Institute of Professional Studies and the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
Among the several recommendations in the White Paper to be executed by the Project, was the establishment of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (NAB) to regulate tertiary education provision in Ghana. This was in anticipation of an imminent expansion in the sector, including private participation, and its implications for quality. The establishment of NAB was part of Government’s bigger agenda to increase access and to enhance the knowledge base and the skill set of its population for economic transformation.
The Ghana Tertiary Education Commission was therefore established in 1993 by PNDC Law 317, 1993, as an agency of the Ministry of Education. This has since been replaced by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission Act, 2007, Act 744 which is opertaionalised by Legislative Instrument (LI) 1984.