While successfully seeking approval to appoint a board to start regulating tertiary education locally, Minister of Education Myron Walwyn yesterday announced that at least three investors already are seeking to operate territory institutions in the British Virgin Islands.
“We have discussed offshore medical schools, nursing schools, and offshore tertiary education institutions setting up right here attracting students from all around the world; and how beneficial it would be. We have seen this work in many of our neighbouring islands like Anguilla, St Kitts, Dominica, and Barbados and so on.”
“We have in hand letters expressing interest from at least three institutions thus far, and so the board already has its work cut out for it,” Walwyn said, adding that the board will also play a crucial role in selecting the institutions that will be allowed to operate.
The House of Assembly, in the meantime, approved a motion the minister had sought for the appointment of the six-member Higher Education Board.
It is to be chaired by career educator, Professor Arthur Richardson, who is married to BVIslander Dr Benedicta Samuels-Richardson.
The other board members are: Dian Fahie, Dr Janet Smith, Andrew Bickerton, Leroy Abraham, and Joann Romney.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education is an ex-officio member of the board.
The education minister further stated that, in putting the board together, care was taken to ensure it had the ‘right mix of persons with the necessary expertise’.
He told the House that Professor Richardson brings a wealth of experience to the post.
“Professor Richardson’s career in education has taken him from the elementary level to the tertiary level where he held senior administration position as Director of the School of Education at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Barbados.”
“At the University of the West Indies, Professor Richardson was instrumental in curriculum development, and also played a leading role in the development of teachers’ colleges in the Eastern Caribbean,” added Walwyn.
He noted that, specifically, Professor Richardson has experience as Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Education at UWI,
Head of the Department of Education Research and Development, and Acting Director of the School Education before he was appointed Head of Administration in 2000.
“He comes with a wealth of experience of over 40 years in the field of education. I am sure he will serve us well in this capacity as we seek to ensure that the best offshore schools are selected to set up their institutions here in the territory of the Virgin Islands,” Walwyn further said.
The legislation for the establishment of a Higher Education Board was passed last year.
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