St. Vincent could lose Kingstown Medical College
April 13, 2007
St. Vincent could lose Kingstown Medical College

An estimated $22-million-per-year rug may soon be pulled from under the economy of St Vincent and the Grenadines; that is, if the doors of the Kingstown Medical College at Ratho Mill close.

An increase in crime against students attending the local campus of St. George’s University has reportedly led to an exodus of close to 50 students from St Vincent before their scheduled time.{{more}}

According to a letter issued to student housing landlords by the university’s New York headquarters, the students were no longer feeling safe in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

One university source told SEARCHLIGHT that it would not be surprising if the college closes its doors in the not too distant future.

The dread with which the news of this potential closure is being received may explain the decision taken by 60 student landlords, in a meeting on Saturday, April 7, to form themselves into an organization and take actions aimed at reducing instances of crime against the students.

An estimated 300 students pay an average combined rent of $400,000 per month, which explains why some landlords have invested upward of $1 million to prepare facilities to rent to the students.

At present, there are several apartment buildings being constructed as more people try to cash in on the lucrative rental arrangement.

One Supermarket manager, SEARCHLIGHT is reliably informed, confessed that sales from medical students average up to $15,000 weekly – so a pullout by the school will cause a serious dent.

The majority of the students rent vehicles for the duration of their stay in St Vincent, which costs them approximately $1,600 per month.

While the stakeholders hold their collective breath, Acting Commissioner of Police Bertram Pompey told SEARCHLIGHT that the police have stepped up patrol in the areas where crimes against the students are taking place.

He also applauded the efforts of the school in setting up night patrols, stating that it was a move worth applauding.

“We also advise the homeowners to step up security measures at their homes,” Commissioner Pompey said.

A medical school source also told SEARCHLIGHT that the school, in an effort to assist the police, donated a vehicle to the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) last year. The RRU is based in Prospect, in close proximity to the campus and the areas where many of the students live.