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Apr 10, 2019

The Central American University Confederation Meets in Belize

The University of Belize is hosting its counterparts from Central America and the Dominican Republic this week. A two-day event is discussing the quality and standards of education offered by the various universities that form part of the body. The thinking is that regional integration strengthens higher education at the universities. One area of particular interest is that education tourism can bring significant benefits to the entire region. Here is Duane Moody with a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The pro-tem presidency of the Central American University Confederation is currently held by the Professor Clement Sankat of the University of Belize and today, for the first time in nineteen years, the regional meeting is being held in Belize. The two-day conference of the higher education council, which includes all Central American countries as well as the Dominican Republic, is looking not only at strategies going forward, but at the wider concept of education tourism.


Clement Sankat

Professor Clement Sankat, President, University of Belize

“One of the key areas of work of CSUCA has to do with the promotion of quality and standards within our Central American university system; what we call harmonization of standards and quality. And this will allow for mobility among and between students from different universities into our various countries. This is something that is especially important in this era of regionalization and globalization that our students must have the ability to move and get different experiences.”


Carlos Alvarado

Dr. Carlos Alvarado, Secretary General, CSUCA [Translated]

“Our region has challenges and important issues. And our universities have the commitment and responsibility to advance our societies and countries. Public universities are important for the development of our countries using education as a development tool.”


On Tuesday, the University of Belize hosted student reps from the twenty-four member universities at the Belmopan campus. It falls in line with the proposed exchange programme of CSUCA that will see not only Belizean students being afforded an opportunity to study at out-of-state universities, but also for Central American students to migrate to Belize.


Lynette Palacio

Lynette Palacio, Admin Officer, Belize City Student Government, UB

“CSUCA is currently working on accreditation for universities so a student like myself, attending the University of Belize, it’s great that now we are seeing this accreditation process in the works. So let’s say for example I want to continue my students in Costa Rica or Guatemala or any other of the Central American universities, I know for a fact now—well when process is finished—that I can start my career at the University of Belize and then I can forward my studies abroad and then I don’t have to worry that “Oh my credits didn’t transfer, I wasted my money; I have to start over.” So it is a great initiative that CSUCA is doing.”


But does the University of Belize meet the regional standards?


Professor Clement Sankat

“What we really want to do is to ensure that all our universities in Central America are at a particular standard and surely there is a lot that we need to do at the University of Belize because I have seen my sister universities in Central America and many of them have gone to very great heights. Well we are getting there.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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