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Sep 22, 2011

Institutions pool resources with M.O.U. for Research

There is a great quantity of research on Belize’s history and culture, but due to a lack of resources much of the studies have to be conducted by foreign organizations. To address that problem, a memorandum of understanding was signed today between NICH, the University of Belize, the National Library Service and Information System, Saint John’s College, Belize Archives and Records Service as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The MOU hopes to develop research by the local institutions by pooling resources and integrating the existing information. Representatives from each of the signatories penned the documents at the House of Culture today and News Five was on hand for the event.

Diane Haylock, President, NICH

Diane Haylock

“This MOU, which talks about research not just in terms of history but also in terms of culture—and if one looks at culture, in terms of the arts, in terms of the social history of our country, the political history—all the areas that one can consider are important to this country of Belize. This is an opportunity for all our institutions to ensure that this particular agenda is fulfilled because no one of our institutions here can do it on our own. And to a large extent, that has to do with the availability of resources; human resources and the financial resources. Research is expensive business.”

Carey Fraser

Dr. Carey Fraser, President, University of Belize

“Individuals, institutions and everything else, we must think in terms of the kinds of research we do and the way that it will have a measurable impact on the societies in which we live. So as the newly installed president of the University of Belize, I am committed to the idea that the University has to develop its research mission. But more importantly, that research mission should be instrumental in helping to develop the networks of people and the infrastructure that will allow this society to use that research to help transform this society.”

Dr. Filiberto Penados, Director of Research, UB

Filiberto Penados

“It speaks to developing an agenda of research, creating some kind of research fund, of building capacity, of creating opportunities for disseminating research and access to existing databases. So what are some of the next steps that we see happening? The MOU doesn’t speak to the nitty gritty of what we’re going to do. We thought that the MOU needs to be kind of a large agreement that says this is what we’re going to do in terms of a broad stroke. We realize that we need kind of an action plan that addresses each one of these areas.”

The institutions will also collaborate in areas of training, academic forums and distribution of information.

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