CFBC Benefits From MOU with University of Virgin Islands

Lesroy W. Williams

Basseteree, St. Kitts, 25th July, 2013–Students of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) and citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis stand to benefit from a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) that would bring more educational opportunities.

At a brief signing ceremony at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College on July 24, education officials, government officials, university officials and administrative staff of the CFBC gathered for the signing of the memorandum of understanding.

Minister of Education, Nigel Carty said that “the most important work of any government is to develop its human resource.”

“There is a saying that the health of the nation is the wealth of the nation and so it tells me that implicit in all of that is that the true wealth of our country is our people really,” Carty said.

According to Minister Carty, the MOU will be for a period of 10 years from the date of its signature and a mid-term review will be conducted after five years so as to determine what adjustments may be required.

Carty also said that the MOU speaks to providing 25 scholarships or financial assistance of not less than US$7,500.00 annually and six study leave scholarships for persons who work in the government who will receive 80 percent of their salary while on study leave.

Additionally, the UVI will offer the students from St. Kitts and Nevis, nationals and non-nationals, so long as they have been students of the CFBC a competitive rate that is comparable to rates being paid by students who are nationals of the Virgin Islands, Carty said.

The MOU also states that prior to attending or participating in any of the programmes and courses offered at the UVI, the University shall assist in the planning stages to afford the best opportunity to pursue those degrees and programmes offered at the UVI and will advise students on programmes and courses at the CFBC which will give them the best preparation for smooth transition or articulation with the programmes at the UVI, he said.

Some of the programmes offered at the UVI include but is not limited to Agriculture, Pure and Applied Sciences, Hospitality and Tourism and Social Development, said Minister Carty.

Vice President of Academic Student Affairs, Delores Stapleton-Harris said that the CFBC and the UVI have “enjoyed a long standing relationship with each other.” The MOU will allow for greater opportunities for CFBC graduates and citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, she said.

“The CFBC continues to advance its mission to produce self-sufficient citizens and to prepare students to make life-long commitments to their communities,” Harris said.

Harris said that the UVI’s partnership with the CFBC will bring about the common goal of working together for academic excellence with a range of academic, technical and vocational programmes that will produce “skilled graduates who can and will meet the needs of a demanding and evolving community” in areas such as alternative energy, fisheries and agricultural research.

“At the CFBC there is already a strong demand for professionalism and accountability as well as the conduct of research to support the CFBC’s development as our Federation and region continue to expand and become more closely connected with global demands and markets,” said Harris.

Dr. Haldane Davies, Special Assistant to the President of UVI underscored how beneficial the relationship between the CFBC and UVI is.

“This opportunity that exists now expands beyond what we had initially with just between CFBC and UVI. It is a full commitment of the Federation to ensure that everyone here would have that fair opportunity to be able to participate in higher education as offered by the UVI in a manner and form and mode which would be best suited to their situation,” Dr. Davies said.

Students would be able to journey to the UVI to take courses/programmes or they can take the courses/programmes at the CFBC, he said.

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors of the CFBC, Rev. Canon Isaiah Phillip emphasized that the Board of Governors was pleased that the MOU has come to fruition for human resource development in the Federation.

“This is something of a kind of logical development because we have had here in St. Kitts and Nevis a very long association with the UVI…we have been part of the history and process of UVI,” Reverend Phillip said.

Also highlighting the longstanding relationship of the UVI and St. Kitts and Nevis, President of the UVI, Dr. David Hall said that as president he has been impressed by the quality of students from St. Kitts and Nevis who continue to excel academically and in leadership roles at the UVI.

“The connection between St. Kitts and Nevis and the UVI is a longstanding one and this is a natural evolution…some of the students and leaders that we have had in my tenure have been outstanding and most have come from St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Hall said.

Dr. Hall mentioned some outstanding Kittitians at the UVI which include Dean of the College for Liberal Arts and Social Science, Simon Jones-Hendrickson; Vice-Provost for Research and Public Service, Dr. Frank Mills; and Executive Director of Centre for Student Success and Former Interim Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Eustace Esdaille, who is presently the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the CFBC.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ionie Liburd-Willett gave welcome remarks; Mr. Hugh Heyliger, Director of Institutional Development at CFBC, gave the vote of thanks; and Mr. Kyshaun Bassue, past student of the CFBC played the National Anthem on the saxophone.

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