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Nov 8, 2016

U.B. Joins Forces with University of the West Indies

Regional institution UWI and Belize’s national university UB signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen partnerships to improve tertiary level education in Belize.  The MOU seeks to foster the relationship through collaborative efforts in a number of areas including research and programme and course development. The goal is to intensify efforts to develop Belize’s human resources as a critical contributor to the country’s social and economic development. News Five’s Andrea Polanco attended today’s signing.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Today, the University of the West Indies and the University of Belize signed a memorandum of understanding formalizing their relationship. The UWI and UB have worked with each other for more than fifteen years. But today’s signing will see that relationship officially extend to include more initiatives, including professional development for faculty and staff, research, teaching, programme and course development, as well as student exchanges.  It is hoped that these mechanismswill better position UBas an academic institution and better prepare students so that they are more competitive when they go in the work place.

 

Alan Slusher

Alan Slusher, President, University of Belize

“A major part of the effort is going to involve strengthening our capacity to deliver relevant training and instruction to our students. That process starts from the design of our individual courses and programmes. It extends in to making sure that we deliver to students the quality of instruction that is required for the development of this country and also that students absorb the information that is being passed on to them, being delivered to them, and at the end of the process that the evaluation processes of student performance are transparent, effective and efficient. So, we are looking for institutional help in that entire delivery process. The objective of the exercise is that we get the highest possible quality of student graduate than we can possibly get in the system.  What we are looking for in the assistance and support from the UWI is that kind of oversight. They themselves are subjected to the oversight in the accreditation processes. We are not accredited yet in Belize, so we are looking for that kind of support and assistance which, while not constituting accreditation, would give us that same kind of effect in terms of the quality of your student graduate at the end of the day.”

 

Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus explains that the collaboration has already started. Students will have better access to all courses regardless of where they are located. The relationship is mutually beneficial one.

 

Luz Longsworth

Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice Chancellor & Principal, UWI Open Campus

“We have already begun some of that work in collaborating with some departments in course design and looking at course delivery. One of the areas that is in the MOU as well, taking in to account, Belize’s geographical nature is the assistance in helping the faculty to develop skills in developing blended modalities of teaching so that a UB student who is in PG for instance can have access to the same courses that a student in Belmopan can. So, that is an area of collaboration that the Open Campus now, with our skill base, can directly participate in.  We, too, see Belize as a partner in terms of the country of Belize as a partner that is very important in the development of the University of the West Indies. I can say to you that one area that our Vice Chancellor has particularly pointed out as important for all UWI graduates is the need to have a bi-lingual facility. It is obvious to me that here we have in Belize, a country that is easily bi-lingual and is part of the UWI family, the University of Belize has that capacity and we think that is an area that we can also benefit from in that partnership.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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