With a new campus in place and plans to expand its operation, the Texila American University (TAU) is eyeing international accreditation for its medical programme. Like the University of Guyana (UG), TAU is looking to the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) in Barbados for its accreditation.
CAAM-HP, which was established in 2003, is the accreditation body tasked with accrediting medical, veterinary and dental schools within Caribbean Community member states.
According to President and Founder of TAU, Mr. Saju Bhaskar, already the university has commenced preparation of the necessary documentations to secure accreditation.
Added to this, Bhaskar revealed that one Guyanese staff member of TAU is currently in Barbados training with CAAM-HP.
“We hope to submit our documentation by the end of this month,” Bhaskar informed during an interview yesterday, even as he pointed out that “we have already done reviews with experts from the University of the West Indies who flew in from Trinidad, and they have all reviewed our documentation.”
“We did a kind of mock accreditation and we are good for now and so we are very confident that we will get CAAM-HP,” Bhaskar added.
Currently UG has submitted its documentation to CAAM—HP in hopes of regaining accreditation which it had lost last year, because of its failure to adhere to measures recommended by the accreditation body.
Fully embracing features to enable a green environment, TAU introduced a new 100,000 square foot campus valued at some US $10 million at Providence, East Bank Demerara, with capabilities to cater to a growing intake of both local and international students.
Currently the school has in excess of 500 students drawn from several countries.
“We grew from 500 to 600 students in five to six years time,” said Bhaskar, who pointed out that the school has since graduated students in excess of 40 students, mainly from its flagship medical programme. With certification from the TAU, Bhaskar said, graduates can practice just about anywhere in the world.
“We have graduates from the US; we have graduates from Canada, India, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and of course, Guyana. In fact I am happy to share that yesterday [Tuesday] we got a letter from the Medical Council of Guyana that they were registering our students as qualified medical practitioners and they are now entering internship at the public hospitals.
This is a testimony to the fact that they have reviewed our documentation, reviewed our quality…we have conducted exit exams by 20 different medical professionals who evaluated the students and certified our students and that is criteria for the medical council too,” Bhaskar related yesterday.
The new Providence campus currently accommodates some 350 students, of which over 100 are Guyanese. Bhaskar is convinced that the Texila University is today among the top 10 medical schools in the Caribbean in terms of its curriculum and quality.
Texila first came to Guyana in 2010 and its inaugural batch of seven was accepted in 2011. While it operated out of the Critchlow Labour College in Woolford Avenue, Georgetown, the University subsequently expanded to Sparendaam on the East Coast of Demerara, after which moves were made to construct the Providence Campus.
Bhaskar disclosed during an interview that, “from the beginning we had the confidence that Guyana will work out. We had opportunities to be in other islands that are more exotic like St. Lucia or St. Kitts – which has an industry of medical education. Many islands in the Caribbean do, but when we came here there was hardly one medical school, apart from the University of Guyana which was active, and we had the confidence that we would be able to do well in Guyana.”
According to Bhaskar, in addition to its medical programme, the university also offers courses in nursing and has plans to introduce a Pharmacy programme too. Other programmes in the pipeline are Agriculture, Information Technology, Cyber Security, Networking and Energy Management.
“We are looking at energy management in particular, because there is no programme offered here at the MBA level, as Guyana prepares to produce oil…we are looking to train in management in this area,” said Bhaskar. He added yesterday that TAU is prepared to offer programmes as they become necessary for Guyana.
“If the country has any requirements for new programmes we are willing to look at that area. We are looking at tertiary and degree level education programmes here in Guyana.”
The vision for TAU, according to its Vice President, Mr. Ashok Kumar, is “We want to be one of the Ivy League campuses in the Caribbean region which we are heading towards.”
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