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Nov 27, 2000

U.B. hosts Central American universities

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Educators from all over Central America converged on Belize City this morning. The event both increased the stature of the host, University of Belize, and placed the institution in the position of a bilingual bridge in the Americas.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

It was the sixty-first meeting of CSUCA, The Consejo Superior Universitario Centro Americano. The organization, which was formed over fifty years ago, works towards developing Central American universities. Over the next two days, Central American student affairs officers, student government representatives and member universities of CSUCA will continue with their regular work agenda. However, one highlight of the discussions will include providing travel opportunities for both students and faculty.

Dr. Angel Cal, President, University of Belize

“Tonight there will be an inauguration of an office in Belize that is intended to promote student and faculty mobility within Central American universities. A Central American travel agency that specializes in this area of work will set up office in Belize to facilitate this kind of support for students and faculty.”

In his address, Minister of Education, Cordel Hyde, said that universities need time to mature and U.B. is no exception.

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Education

“The development of a true university culture in Belize is really just in its infancy stage. We are not quite where we need to be in terms of quality teaching and effective and relevant learning. We are not quite where we need to be in terms of commitment and dedication to national service and of active relevant research and development. Our university student population grew by twenty-five percent this past year to almost two thousand, three hundred students. We expect to have six to eight thousand students enrolled in the next decade. And that will place added stress on our university system.”

“In the end, our University will have to become much more autonomous and much less dependent on the state for financing. The students and alumni of our university will have to take their rightful place in this country as its economic political and cultural leaders.”

Presently U.B. is working with CSUCA to create a regional consultancy network. Meanwhile U.B. has announced the winners in their logo and motto competition. Julio Zuniga of Gallon Jug in Orange Walk won seven hundred dollars after the logo design he submitted captured first place. Laura Alvarado of Belize City won three hundred dollars after the motto she submitted, ?Education Empowers A Nation,? captured first place.

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