JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has warmly welcomed the opening of the Hydel University.
He congratulated its President, Senator Hyacinth Bennett, for her vision and hard work; and described the development as the result of a policy of liberalization in education.
Speaking at the opening of the university at its premises at Ferry on August 30, Mr. Golding said, “Education is today benefiting from the whole concept of liberalization. If we can just remove some of the historical control that we felt we needed to have in place, we would then unleash, not just the entrepreneurial spirit that has to finance things like this, but also encourage the will and determination that are nurtured and fed when people are free to innovate, to expand, to develop and to grow. It is in that context that we find a number of universities emerging,”
Noting that Jamaica has four universities that were established by statute, the Prime Minister said that the challenge was for more tertiary institutions to achieve that status.
“The courses at these universities, including Hydel, have been recognized and approved by the university council and once it is proven that all of the elements that constitute an effective university are in place, then we hope that others will be recognized by statute,” Mr. Golding said.
The Prime Minister reminded the gathering of the Government’s plan for a university centre on the Caymanas lands, which includes Ferry.
“The UDC, in designing the use of the Caymanas lands, intends to reserve a section of those lands which we call in concept, the university village. We want to provide enough lands for these new universities to set up a proper campus on a permanent basis with adequate space for them to grow and take advantage of the synergies that present themselves by universities occupying space collectively. There are various support services that they will be able to share and therefore reduce the heavy costs of operating a university.”
In his remarks, Minister of Education, Andrew Holness said that the sector was growing and that the ministry would be strengthening its oversight of tertiary institutions. “This growing sector will require support and direction, and Government is preparing to launch very soon the Tertiary Commission that will be the developmental and regulatory body for tertiary and higher education in Jamaica.”
Hydel University recently enrolled 300 students for diploma and bachelor degree courses in Primary Education and Early Childhood Education. It aims at offering a Masters degree in Education in 2010.

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