PM exploring links with American university to offer quality education
November 14, 2014
PM exploring links with American university to offer quality education

Students in St Vincent and the Grenadines may soon be able to pursue studies at a university in the United States (US) without having to leave this country for the entire duration of their degree.

While addressing a press conference on November 10, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves {{more}}revealed that he had a meeting on November 9 with a number of local officials and the president of Fort Valley State University, which is located in Georgia, in the US, to discuss the possibility of working along with the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC).

This partnership will be in an effort to offer quality education to Vincentian students, while cutting the high costs of a full face-to-face learning degree programme.

“I had the president of the Fort Valley State University…I learned that he was going to be in Barbados at the community college to do a memorandum of understanding. This is a small university in Georgia. I called him and I say well you have to come to St Vincent. You have to make an umbilical link with our community college,” Gonsalves explained.

He added that the chief education officer, Lou-Anne Gilchrist, acting director of the SVGCC, Laura Browne and deputy director, Nigel Scott, as well as two persons from the SVG Accreditation Board were in attendance.

“We explored a lot of issues and they will be sending a draft from Fort Valley State University; they will be sending a memorandum of understanding,” the Prime Minister said.

Gonsalves highlighted several exciting programmes offered at the university which will be of great benefit to students here.

“One of them, for instance, is the four-year degree programme for veterinary technology. In the United States, a degree as a doctor in veterinary medicine, you have to have another degree before that,” he explained.

“Now we are looking at the possibility for this – other programmes too – that you can do two years here and do two years in Georgia. It would cut the cost of the programme considerably.”

It was recently revealed that the SVGCC is seeking to be made a college of the University of the West Indies.

Gonsalves noted that he has already written to the principal of the Open Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau, and the current vice-chancellor on the matter.

“I wanted the discussion to be going fast before this current vice-chancellor demits in May next year,” he said.

“We want as a matter of policy, to have our community college made a college of the University of the West Indies, but we want to maintain the flexibility that we can do arrangements with places like the Fort Valley State University and other places where we have niches to satisfy us where the University of the West Indies may be too cumbersome or lacking in that particular area or discipline and to build this for our people.”(BK)