Grand Bahama Celebration To Herald University of The Bahamas Charter
University of The Bahamas continues its official charter events this week with a special celebration at the Northern Bahamas Campus (NBC) in East Grand Bahama on Thursday, 27th April.
The institution into which the former College of The Bahamas has transitioned, UB was chartered on 10th November 2016. Thursday’s celebration is the latest event to commemorate the historic charter outside New Providence.
Grand Bahama represents a vitally important prospect for economic rejuvenation and diversification. The role of higher education in developing citizens with the competencies necessary to fill myriad industrial and private sector capacities is pivotal. The Northern Bahamas Campus holds special significance as it is envisioned as a catalyst for the economic and social transformation of the surrounding communities in East Grand Bahama.
“The idea is to ensure that the entire county serves as the campus for the University of The Bahamas, so rather than having all of our centres of excellence on one island we are going to create centres of excellence on several islands throughout the country,” explains University of The Bahamas President Dr. Rodney D. Smith.
“With Grand Bahama being the centre for industrial, shipping and manufacture enterprises, the focus for the campus should be in these respective areas. Eventually, the College of Engineering and Technology of the University System, could be located on this island. Similarly, the College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences could be located on the island of Andros, in partnership with the Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Sciences Institute (BAMSI). Other Colleges within the system will eventually develop on other islands as the University expands, stimulating economic development throughout the country.”
The NBC is envisioned as the nucleus for the fulfilment of the higher education pursuits of citizens in the northern Bahamas, those who prefer to pursue a university education outside New Providence. The residential, multi-purpose facility under construction, funded by a $3 million donation from the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), plays a critical role in achieving that objective as it allows for the recruitment of students and faculty from locally and internationally.
With a residential campus in East Grand Bahama, student enrolment is likely to increase. Consequently, with a thriving academic community will come opportunities to fuel the expansion of the surrounding communities.
A valued partner in higher education, the GBPA has a distinct legacy of educational philanthropy. In another tangible demonstration of its commitment, the Port donated the 50 acres of land on which the NBC was constructed.
“The accessibility of the University of The Bahamas will allow many more residents who would wish to attend university the opportunity to do so. This would result in more Bahamians becoming college graduates, improving the general level of education in Grand Bahama, and by extension The Bahamas,” noted President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority Group of Companies Mr. Ian Rolle.
The University will create a business incubator on Grand Bahama as a necessary tool for the sustained economic development of small businesses, while serving as a support mechanism for the industrial, commercial and trade sectors. These kinds of innovation-inspiring projects are instrumental in bolstering an educated and skilled workforce throughout the country.
On Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th residents in Grand Bahama are encouraged to wear blue in support of University of The Bahamas which is also partnering with Frankie’s Ice Cream to celebrate UB’s charter.
On Thursday 27th, the celebration at the Northern Bahamas Campus will encompass a formal charter ceremony beginning at 10:00 a.m. followed by the unveiling of two plaques, one recognising the charter of University of The Bahamas and another commemorating the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s gift of the land on which the campus is constructed. Alumni, friends and supporters of the institution as well as members of the public who support higher education are invited to attend. On Thursday evening, UB alumni are invited to attend a Mix and Mingle event at Monkey Joe’s to reconnect with their alma mater.