UG gets US$10M from World Bank
… to help finance Science and Tech project
The World Bank yesterday granted approval for a US$10M credit to the University of Guyana which will be paid out over a period of five years.
According to a release issued by the institution’s local office, the World Bank’s Executive Board approved the credit to help finance the University of Guyana’s Science and Technology Support Project. The project is expected to benefit some 6,300 students through the strengthening of “science and technology tertiary education in order to advance Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).”
Minister of Education, Shaik Baksh, said of the project, “By supporting the University’s faculty and students, this project will prepare today’s researchers and students to have the practical knowledge and skills to meet the needs of tomorrow’s low carbon economic and social development.”
“The World Bank is proud to support the University of Guyana and the LCDS through this project which is well-aligned with Guyana’s Country Assistance Strategy,” said World Bank Director for the Caribbean, Françoise Clottes.
“Improving tertiary education will be critical to opening employment opportunities and meeting labour market demand as the country aims to develop its LCDS and the new skill set that this strategy will require.”
The US$10 million credit is provided by the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, the International Development Association (IDA). IDA has a 10-year grace period and a final maturity of 20 years.
According to the release there are three components to the programme, these are the Education Quality Improvement, Infrastructure Rehabilitation, and Institution Capacity Building. The first component seeks to “revitalize the University’s science curriculum and to support more applied research towards meeting the critical needs for the LCDS.”
Under Infrastructure Rehabilitation there will be works to improve the laboratory and building infrastructure in four of the University’s faculties, amounting to a total of 14 buildings. The funding will also provide scientific equipment for the laboratories with the aim of enabling “the delivery of practical science education and research; and establishing of a campus wide internet network.”
And the Institutional Capacity Building Phase will support the University in “managing, monitoring and evaluating the project as well as planning for future phases of its strategic plan.”
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Lawrence Carrington, in speaking about the investment said that “The innovative research, contemporary facilities and institutional support provided by this project will equip the University of Guyana to respond to the needs of its society, find new ways to help local communities solve social and economic challenges and provide an important contribution to Guyana’s LCDS.”
Key to the University’s revised Strategic Plan that was released in the first half of 2010 is the investment of international and national agencies in the University’s projects. Incorporation of the country’s chosen direction and initiatives on the issue of Climate Change into future endeavours of the University were also a part of the Strategic Plan.
This is one such project, while just yesterday initial consultations on the proposed International Center for Biodiversity Research and Low Carbon Development – also out of the Strategic Plan – saw the closing of a three-day stakeholder workshop at the International Conference Centre.