Students wishing to pursue studies at the International University of the Caribbean (IUC) will have the opportunity to engage in Peace Studies as an Academic Discipline, through its Peace Institute.
This is a radical shift in the focus of the University, apart from its ongoing offerings in higher education.
President of the IUC, Professor Roderick Hewitt, told JIS News at a ‘Think Tank’ on September 21 that the University is returning to the basis of existence, as its motto says: ‘Seek Peace and Pursue Excellence’.
According to Professor Hewitt, the IUC is seeking to offer to Jamaicans this programme in response to the challenges “we are going through in society, such as the prevalence of violence due to the kinds of relationships that are dysfunctional in the homes and the wider communities”.
“We are giving focus to research opportunities for students to engage in Peace Studies at the certificate, diploma and degree levels. We are also in discussion with an external institution, the Kings College, University of London, to come on board in offering post-graduate studies at the master’s and doctoral levels,” he pointed out.
Professor Hewitt added that the IUC sees Peace Studies as an academic discipline that can permeate the studies of students from they enter the halls of the institution.
“No one should leave our institution without being informed as peace builders and peacemakers,” he said.
The research aims to critically examine the structures within the Jamaican society that militate against peace and social cohesion.
Special attention will be given to government pro-poor policy frameworks that are geared towards addressing poverty and inequality and how the processes of socialisation, economic development and the role of religion have played a part in contributing to violence.
The objectives of the IUC Peace Institute are to develop quality research methodologies; strengthen the peace resiliency of children and youth, women and men, families and communities; influence the shaping of public policies; respond to gender-based violence through research into family violence; address violence in the virtual communities, and build partnerships for peace.
Services to be offered by the IUC include conflict resolution, coaching, training for local community members, consulting, and training in cyberbullying prevention.
The IUC was founded by the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in November 2005.
For further information, persons can call 876-754-1921.