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Medical school to open in BVI

Myron Walwyn.

A tertiary medical school is being established in the British Virgin Islands.

Days ago, Cabinet approved for the University of Science Arts and Technology (USAT) to begin operations in the territory.

Minister of Education Myron Walwyn said USAT – which is an offshore private educational facility – will train students and provide degrees in medicine, surgery, nursing, physical therapy, pharmacology, veterinary medicine, and public health. He further said USAT is already accredited.

The minister did not give a timeline when the school will begin operations in the territory. However, he said the school intends to start by enrolling roughly 200 students before expanding the student population.

“The school is very eager to be here …  I know they’ve been on the ground looking for properties from which to operate and so forth, and we are going to do the best we can to facilitate them to get them operating as quickly as possible,” Walwyn said.

The Education Minister said USAT does not only mean good news for the local education but also good news for the territory’s economy.

“We all know what can happen to the contribution that will be made to the economy with the rental of spaces for the school and in terms of housing for staff and students and just having persons who are here who will utilise the various services in the local economy … So, as they operate, the territory also benefits and we also have access to education for our people as well.”

He further said the territory will earn additional revenue from the annual $10,000 fee the school has to pay to operate in the BVI.

Higher Education law

Institutions such as USAT are able to operate in the territory based on the territory’s Higher Education Licensing Act, a law implemented in 2016.

The Act has allowed for what is known as a ‘Higher Education Licensing Board’ to be established in the territory. Effectively, the Board will provide licensing to accredited higher education providers to operate in the BVI.

Under the law, the Board should comprise seven members whose collective functions are:

  • to consider and make recommendations to the minister with respect to applications for licensing submitted to the Board.
  • to maintain a register of the providers of higher education that are licensed under this Act and the programmes of study that are accredited by an approved accrediting body.
  •  to establish requirements with which a provider must comply in order to be licensed.
  • to recommend the revocation of a licence granted to, or conferred on, any provider, in accordance with section 24, if after enquiry the Board considers that there is good and sufficient cause to do so.
  • to recommend the number of licences to be issued or exclusive licenses to be granted.

More institutions are said to have applied to operate in the BVI, and according to Walwyn, each of those institutions have had to pay a $5,000 application fee.

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59 Comments

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  1. BVIYoungman says:

    GREAT STEP INTO THE RIGHT DIRECTION MR WALWYN. GREAT STEP!!!

    • Hah says:

      Fahie was right all along, right is wrong and wrong is right depending on who you love and hate in the BVI. Hon. Fahie was the pioneer for thinking about medical school and was criticized for it now it’s a GREAT STEP.

      • BVIYoungman says:

        Who would ever Criticize the introduction of a medical school!??

        STOP TALKING FOOLISHNESS PLEASE! and just click the X in the top right corner of your screen!

      • hey there says:

        pure facts!! 100%

      • Reader says:

        @ “HA”… you made a point, however, maybe now the blogger sees the bigger picture. St.Kitts has had a medical school for years. I know someone from here who attended it. Good move, now no need for blogs focussing on whether the HLSCC has enough programs…and I’m sure they too will soon add others as things improve economically and structurally.

  2. No nonsense says:

    Why this power —– don’t go and sit down and stop praying on our youths. Fix the primary, high school and college. The college is ONE mess! Structure, finance, teachers and bogus accreditation. L— and d——— man. England need to come and carry him back with them

    • VICKIE says:

      Fix the damn schools before talking about medical school .Why these ministers do not focus on getting back this place to where we was. They think people are stupid talking medical and we do not have a high school my heart is aching over this man crazy talk. Get the schools up and running then focus on other things.

      • lookie here says:

        While I can understand your concerns about the other schools that were destroyed by the hurricanes Irma and Maria, please don’t be so judgmental and close minded to think that they are being forgotten. From what ive come to understand with government and their processes, anything that happens has to go to cabinet which takes donkey years……. so I’m of the view that this process was in the works for quite sometime and is actually coming to a reality. It aint yesterday they talking about a Medical School…. if cabinet just approve it that would mean they been working on it all along. Lets try to understand things before we start bashing left right and center

        • redstorm says:

          Your thoughts give insight on the subject. I believe it will warrant a good start for the country’s economy.if some subscribers take the time to just look at the other Caribbean countries of how they are progressing with the Overseas Medical School, BVI should have done the same sine 1979. But this country leaders should continue to have a vision for this country that enables its growth. we should be thoughtful of the expectation of this government and encourage them to do their best to return this country from the damages of the hurricanes.

          Looking to have others invest in the education and tourism of this country is a way of opening, jobs, and business for all of BVI. ut the people should be onboard and see the vision of what BVI could become when the people put their heart and hands in helping to do their part.

        • No nonsense says:

          So if things takes a long time to pass cabinet. Why would ths minister for education be giving the humble people fake progress/completion dates for schools? Is it that he does not know the difference between lie and truth…!

    • CHECK THIS!!! says:

      If someone have someone PRAYING on the children. This is great. They need prayer.

    • VI Jewel in CA says:

      Pray is Great! But faith without works is dead. Render to God what is God, and to Ceazar what is Ceazar. The poor we will always have, it’s also the community’s responsibility to care for them. Meanwhile, we must be like Nemiah withe Word in one hand and our work tools in the other even when repairing the ruins. Our youth need progression to redeem the times. Peace!

  3. Chosen One says:

    Are they going build to a university? If so that means the government and or individuals will have to sell land.

    • Reading says:

      That’s all y’all concern about land and taking over bvi God bless this island to be a blessing to others generations to come include EXPATRIATE children will have better ideas who meant no hurt for this beautiful place.

      • WBGG says:

        I was with you until i reached “will have better ideas” you sound just as stupid and ignorant as some who you are calling down, if not more so. You should have stopped after “children”, but like an ass you continued to bray.

  4. SB says:

    Like this vibe for our kids future. Don’t have to run to America.

  5. Yes says:

    This is a Welcomed Educational Initiative for the country. Good job by you and your team young man.

  6. Albion says:

    Will they be introducing a new class of visa/permit for foreigners who want to study at USAT?

  7. Big Step says:

    Great step. I like the idea, can’t wait to see what they have to offer. Especially like Oncology and Accident Emergency programs.

    • Not2Sure says:

      Let’s be realistic. This is a money making venture. Lots of Caribbean countries have “medical schools” like this. They are designed for rich American kids who weren’t smart enough to get into conventional medical schools in the US. So they come down to spend 3 years in the Caribbean, spend a boatload on fees, and their parents are allowed to tell everyone that their son/daughter is “in medical school”.

      Just Google Caribbean medical schools if you want to understanding how this really works. A whole string of banners opens across the top. They all say the same thing: No MCAT needed! Low Tuition fees! This is a pure and simple money making venture.

      For the Government presumably the benefit is in the fees and charges that they can impose on the institutions and the students. But no one should confuse this with a serious institution of higher education or training medical professionals.

      http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/ugly-truth-caribbean-medical-schools/

      • Rubber Duck says:

        Will the qualifications be recognized by major countries? USA, UK, EU and so on? I seriously doubt it.

        • @Rubber Duck says:

          A someone whose child attended St. George’s in Grenada I can inform you that those credentials are recognized in the US,EU, Canada and the Caribbean. Also many US schools are too expensive and do not offer financial aid which students can get from internationally recognized Medical schools. Stop being so malicious and bitter!

        • Linda says:

          They have been declined twice for CAAMHP accreditation. They operate in Puerto Rico without the consent of the PR Higher Education Council.

      • SB says:

        For Medical Officer or general practitioner is good. OBVIOUSLY if you specializing i.e. Heart Brain etc surgeon then you will need the institutions of “HIGHER LEARNING”.

      • Jay says:

        Yes agreed!!

      • Reality says:

        I agree just a cash cow that will offer Mickey Mouse degrees but I guess it will save many under achieving local kids from having to travel to the US or buy one online !

      • VI Jewel in CA says:

        Yes, Medical Schools in the Caribbean is a money making venture. It is no different than CA where enrollment into public universities is extremely challenging to minorities even with 4.0 GPAs because the system gets close to 3X more for tuition fees from wealthy international students particularly Asia, So. Africa (Afrikaans who can claim they’re Black???, and the Middle East. Even rich and middle-class residents are finding it difficult to obtain admissions who are qualifed in meeting the high academic rigor and requirements. After some of these students graduate and returned to US, they are also classified as meeting the US quotes used for addressing health care disparities and physicians shortages in low-income and rural communities. With all-that-said, we need trained medical staff and primary care providers that represent and are willingly committed to the health and well-being of all Caribbean Islanders. So if the Punjabi, the Middle-Easterners and Asians coming to the Caribbean to overcome educational disparities, cultural bias, and systematic inequities; the BIV, U.S.VI.and the other Carribean leaders better coordinate and collaboration to ensure and advised our young people of every pathway possible for advanced study and progression in the medical-health care industries (e.g., bio-medicine, bioengineering, etc.). If not, our problem will be more than an ethical dilemma or a disparity issue.

      • The Most Honorable says:

        You need to do more research that is unbiased and needlessly condescending. Look at the pros and cons of Medical Schools in the Caribbean, instead of just basing your assessment on one persons opinion. USAT is accredited and student who study Medicine in the Caribbean do in fact have pathways to practice in the USA, Canada, UK, Other Commonwealth Countries..(Just World Wide in General)

        For an easier and more straight forward pathway to practicing in the U.S., the schools in the following article are recommended.

        https://www.trinityschoolofmedicine.org/blog/caribbean-medical-schools-offer-career-in-medicine

        More will be added to the list as there are quite a few more credible Medical Schools in the Caribbean who are working on improving their Global Accreditation (including meeting USA standards). Students who does not attend the schools listed in the article still have a pathway of practicing Medicne in USA, Canada, UK, Rest of Europe..etc.

      • redstorm says:

        Not 2sure,

        I like your thoughts, but it is only the surface of what is written. Medical School in the Caribbean are not for white rich kids. It is for all who desire to go and educate themselves and the nation of a country. There are articles written in a biased perspective to have students not attend these schools, because to lure the intent of what they will bring to the Caribbean nation. Wealth building does not sit well with some people and the intent to disguise it is paramount. Just image that Botswana sends 100 students into the Caribbean for training in the medical school, at 40K per year it would mean about more than one million dollars revenue for the country. This country uses the USD and every naysayer on this subject chatting unreasonable words would benefit. If you have a taxi, a restaurant, a hairdresser, a cook who can prep food, a cleaner, a laundry person,a shopper ( yes a shopper, Some medical student have not much time to do grocery, so they pay people to do so) a massage parlour, a Scubber diver to take them out diving, a nail and hair technician,a tutor, a car and bike rental the list is endless, a florist, bakery ( bread is the quick selling item in St. Vincent, Grenada and Antigua for among medical School Student. So each person should start preparing themselves for this adventure.

        Check out the Medical Schools in the Caribbean, most people who are given jobs are the natives. These schools fly teachers and administrators in and out of the country to take care of business. It would need the new plane now, but that’s another thought. People would need to be train in Administration and customer service.

        Let’s think about accreditation, no country would open a medical school, that other institution does not support. It would be a waste of time, and the government has some vision of how things work. They would need to attract the experts in this field and would be best to have their own natives return to the island who have medical training, and be paid to match their present salary. So it’s a good thing and it will take time, while it might approve now, getting started would take about another five years. It would be very intelligent to use the hospital as their area of study, as it has already had provision for the dead, and those who provide their relative body to science should be paid for the study. so I encourage you to write and engage the forum with your thoughts, it’s a good path.

      • good point says:

        This is a very good point. Notice where the medical schools are located? Where the currency is of a lower value than the US Dollar. The cost of living in the BVI is so high, this might be a deterrent.

  8. yes says:

    great idea. nice work

  9. good to great says:

    WHEN ANDREW AND THE VIP MENTIONED THE SAME MEDICAL SCHOOL A FEW YEARS AGO THEY WERE LAUGHED AT…now myron and the ndp saying it it’s a good idea…AYO ARE A SET OF CR%K$

  10. wow says:

    This is the same — who will refuse to hire these same kidz because — will not pass laws to protect them.

  11. Brad Boynes says:

    What’s the cost and where will it be locited or is it online instructions.

  12. one cent says:

    medical school?chech the internet speed first you dream of something big.

  13. I'm just saying says:

    Can we concentrate on fixing the high school first? Out students are roaming the streets and getting into all manner of wrong from Monday to Friday when they should be in school.

    Additionally, Mr. Walwyn, I hope some sort of rules will be reinstated come September for these high school children. While some take pride in wearing the school uniform, there are others who are walking into the school in shorts, crocs, their hair isn’t combed. By now I thought the principals would have had that school back in order but it’s clear that the students rule those who are suppose to be controlling the school.

    • Wow says:

      Do you guys even read? Government is not starting a school, they have approved a school to setup in the BVI. It is a private institution that has nothing to do with fixing the public schools.

  14. Diana says:

    Not raining on anyone parade but we people in the BVI are some serious hypocrite. If memory serve me right a former minister of education suggested we start a medical school with the opening of the new hospital. He was drag thru the mud for this. Now it be suggested again and it’s the best thing since slice bread. What I would like to know, why was it a bad idea when the one suggested it but brilliant when some else suggested it.

    • Wrong says:

      Nobody was against the med school when Fahie brought it. What ppl were against is spending 500K to consult on it. If med schools want to come then they apply seeking approval and Government will say yes or no, thats how it works. What was thw result of the med school study? The former edu minister didnt propose a school he conducted a study costing us half a million which was not necessary.

  15. hmmmm says:

    I am against it…..where and who will train them…..any of u went medical school to understand what is really needed in a clinical setting for students. Sick of these politicians playing with people education and lives

  16. A$$ says:

    SO U CAN’T OPEN THE DAMN SCHOOLS IT HAD HERE BEFORE BUT YOU CAN OPEN MEDICAL SCHOOL. D—- THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO LEGALIZING MARIJUANA

  17. diaspora says:

    election gimmick. a strong educational platform is needed in STEM is needed so that VI students can compete. or this geared towards external medical students.

  18. Caution says:

    Do not steal another man,s idea and treat it as your own. Everyone know that the medical school idea came from the man in the first district. You cannot get the high school or library up , how are you going to get the medical school up.? The library that you destroyed is badly needed. How does the country strive without a library? You are wrecking everything related to education. Is that a way to keep down BVIslanders? Political gimmic with nothing to offer is a waste to this community. Do the constitution allow you to become premier?

    • lol says:

      nobody is stealing another mans idea, the man from the first district was spending 500000 consulting fees which were not needed, that is all he did. And now the Government did all Irma’s destruction also smh

  19. Bandit says:

    if these schools are so wonderful why have t opened in the US islands in the Caribbean. You know why. they are unable to be accredited by the rigorous standards sit by the US accreditation agency. hmm

  20. BVI supporter says:

    I am a US trained orthopedic surgeon and have worked in the BVI recently. I applaud the efforts to bring medical education to BVI and am willing to provide training support to future providers of care to BVI. Isn’t this about improving the health care delivery to BVI residents in large part?

  21. CW says:

    Hey look! Something wonderful is happening in the BVI but lots of haters want to torpedo it with their uneducated negativity. Good ol BVI (b*tchy Virgin Islands) taking a good thing and making it a catastrophe. OK great. Receed into Caribbean obscurity and poverty and never try to make anything positive happen for your fellow countrymen. How can some people be SO selfish and shortsighted? You don’t even have all the info you need to determine a valid opinion. Haters gonna hate!

  22. Retired says:

    So is this future BVI medical school and ‘offshore’ or a regional medical school? It appears to me to be an ‘offshore’ medical school where the graduates return to the USA or Canada for their residency. If so it will be competing with 31 other ‘offshore’ medical schools in the Caribbean that were not destroyed by the hurricanes last year. Good luck with this new revenue stream.

  23. Hah says:

    Congrats Mr Fahie, I heard it’s your fault we getting a medical school. Good Job!

    • LOL says:

      Mr. Fahie had nothing to do with us getting a Medical school, all he did was unnecessarily spend $ 500000.00 for a study. Would love to see the breakdown of these moneys spent.

  24. Hmm says:

    Why dont we focus on fixing our schools first

  25. BVIYoungman says:

    WOW, YALL ARE VERY STUPID IN THESE COMMENTS. The reason his “focus” is on a medical school is because our beloved ones ARE DYING WHEN THEY GET SICK OR INJURED, OR THEY HAVE TO BE FLOWN AWAY TO ANOTHER HOSPITAL BECAUSE OUR HOSPITAL CANT HANDLE IT!

    All the time you people criticize The Peebles Hospital, now, a step to improve the staff and educate/ train new persons in medicine, IT’S A PROBLEM??

    GET OFF THE INTERNET TALKING STUPIDNESS!

    Our schools will be focused on later!

  26. LOL says:

    “Our Schools will be focused on later”
    Then who going to the medical school?

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