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Fitzgerald: University Of The Bahamas Is Almost Here

Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald says substantial progress is being made in the College of the Bahamas’ transition to university status and the signing of the proposed bill is expected by later this year.

Fitzgerald says the bill has already been approved and the legislation is expected to be presented Wednesday in the House of Parliament and adds that essentially the bill sets in motion the transition for the country’s premier tertiary institution.

We’re making great progress on the bill for the University of the Bahamas it will be tabled in the house on Wednesday for first reading and we expect after the budget debate we will go into the debate on the University of the Bahamas”

“We expect by Late October -Early November I will sign that into law and that will be the transition process and then we will go from there,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald added that he expected things to move a bit more quickly, but he wanted to ensure that there were no disagreements concerning the legislation and wanted all parties involved to be on the same page.

“The process has been a bit longer than I expected but at the end of the day I made it very clear that I didn’t want any controversy surrounding the introduction of the university, so in order to get to that it took a bit more patience and collaboration between the stakeholders, but I’m satisfied now that they’re all in agreement”

“It’s too important as a piece of legislation and too important an issue of national development to have any controversy surrounding it, so we’re very pleased about how the board and stakeholders have been mature in handling the situation,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.

Vice President of Advancement for the College of the Bahamas Davinia Blair says the transition to University status is not something that is far away and is actually ongoing.

“COB becoming a university is happening now and we expect to have our Charter Day very soon to officially mark the completion of our journey to university status,” Ms. Blair said.

Blair also spoke about how the college has had to adjust after significant financial cuts over the past several years.

“Of course it would have been difficult for us to do more with less as the expectations for us are ever expanding, even though funding was a challenge the support of the government has always been there and that support is expanding and we expect this to change especially with the transition to university”

“In terms of the service quality our professors, administrators and staff have been stellar and have done an amazing job and we still continue to do our best as our students continue to give us very high marks on our instruction and they know the education they receive at the College of The Bahamas stands up with any other institution around the world,” Ms. Blair said.

The college’s Oakes Field campus has over gone a much needed facelift over the past several months something that was necessary as they move towards university status according to Blair.

“There is a lot going on but obviously I will start with the university entrance that was important for us to mark our transition with a new landmark on the campus”

“Next as you would see a few weeks ago we broke ground on the small island sustainability complex that’s going to be built just behind us here at the end of Tucker Rd, again that’s a very important part of our transition as that building will be used for quite a bit of research with regard to sustainable practices in small island nations”.

“Additionally we have started work on a new parking lot over at the Culinary Hospitality Management Institute that has proper lighting and control access that is available for all students, faculty and staff, as well as the Portia Smith Building which is under renovation and we’re hoping to relocate the offices for Student Services back in that building shortly,” Ms. Blair said.

The College of the Bahamas’ transformation project was launched in March of last year; the project is the direct result of a $16 million loan that the Caribbean development bank is extending to the government.




Written by Jones Bahamas

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