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Apr 28, 2017

U.B. Unveils Latest Research by Students

“Building Competitiveness in Belize in a Global World- the Role of the University of Belize” that is the theme in which it held its annual research conference in Belize City. The event showcases research done by students and faculty of three of U.B.’s campuses. This conference highlights practical and policy oriented research on a broad range of issues and topics of national, regional and global importance conducted by students and faculty over the past year. News Five’s Andrea Polanco attended today’s event and has more in this report.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The University of Belize hosted its seventh annual research conference. Students and faculty members presented in a public forum their research undertaken in fulfillment of their degree in the faculty of management and social sciences over the last year.


Bernard Watler

Dr. Bernard Watler, Dean, Faculty of Management & Social Sciences

“The students are required to do an undergraduate thesis as a part of their graduation requirement. This undergraduate thesis that they have done over the past year is what is being showcased here today. When it comes to the students, they did when the oil wells dry perspectives from B.N.E.  The challenges of female entrepreneurs in Belize. Another student also looked at service quality offered at U.B. students perspective and another student looked at the impact of accounting on the performance of small enterprise in Belize.”


Faculty member Philip Castillo also presented his research on Belize’s pension scheme. He received the “Reseacher of the Year” award for this work.


Philip Castillo

Philip Castillo, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management & Social Sciences

“The research that I am presenting is about Belize’s pension scheme. Basically, I will make the point that the scheme as it is currently is unsustainable. A Belizean retires from the public service at fifty five years old and the life expectancy in Belize is seventy-four; which means then that for nineteen years after retirement you are being paid by Government and then you did not contribute to your pension. So, I will make the point that the scheme as it currently exists is unsustainable.”


Andrea Polanco

“Do you have any plans of using that data to share with the relevant organizations that would use that kinda information?”


Philip Castillo

“Well, yes, it is something that will be presented to Government and the Unions; those are the major stakeholders because successive IMF reports have pointed out the unsustainability of the scheme and with the know knowledge – or with the information that I have generated from this research, I think that should spur the stakeholders to make a change.”


Newly installed President Professor  Emeritus Clement Sankat says that these kinds of research must not only be used for the fulfillment of academic requirements, but must be used for the greater good and development of society – but that stakeholders must also recognize the value of these kinds of work coming out of U.B.


Clement Sankat

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, President, U.B.

“Too frequently the research that we do in universities is closeted in scholarly journals, peer review journals, workshops, books etc. We got to get our research out to the stakeholders that truly matter. And you will have heard me in my speech talk about research for impact. It is not only to get the research out at the end, but we must involve the stakeholders; those are who are gonna benefit from this research at the very beginning to help solve the problems of society so that the issue of transference becomes less of a problem because they were involved in the conceptualization; in the methodologies; and in the output of the research. But to be honest with you, we are already beginning the effort to talk a lot more about what is happening at U.B., including the research.  What is also needed is to have more of the external stakeholders present. Let me say to you this is a perennial problem. The stakeholders that truly matter are not always present. But I want to urge them that by coming and listening to the creative efforts, the problem solving efforts of our students, they can help to take their businesses, their profitability to another level. This is a great place to be because you are getting information and knowledge for free that can help you go to another level.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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