Jun 25, 2014 News
– as moves are made to augment its coffers
As part of efforts to improve the quality of education delivered at the University of Guyana (UG), moves will be made from next year to ensure the minimum qualification to lecture is a Master’s Degree. This disclosure was on Monday made by Vice Chancellor, Professor Jacob Opadeyi during a press conference in the Education Lecture Theatre.
Based on his knowledge, Professor Opadeyi said that a Master’s Degree is in fact the minimum satisfactory level of qualification that is accepted at any University in the world. However, he noted that the only challenge that Guyana may be confronted with is that “our facilities for research, our facilities for students’ assistance are so poor and that affects our programming.
The fact that we do not have graduate students who can support our lecturers, who can be mentors to junior students, affects the quality.”
This state of affairs is currently compounded by an under-resourced library, the Vice Chancellor said. He however went on to note that the existing crop of lecturers at the University is not dissimilar to what obtains, for instance, at the University of the West Indies.
But while he believes that UG offers quality University programmes, Professor Opadeyi has acknowledged that “there are several Guyanese who send their children to Miami to go and study because they want the best education for their own, and those do cost money.”
Moreover, he disclosed that the local University will be looking to internationalise its programmes, an undertaking that is expected to be a significant income earner. This of course will first require that programmes become accredited, which according to Professor Opadeyi, could see efforts being made to solicit students from across the world to come and study here. But according to him, “the challenge in bringing people here to study has to do with our infrastructure…so we have a plan to improve the quality of our dormitories so that it can attract people from abroad to come and study…”
There is also need for the improving of the quality of classrooms since, according to Professor Opadeyi, “when you bring international students here they are spending international money and they expect international facilities.”
Another avenue to earn funds would be by intensifying the offering of online degree programmes. Through this newest feature, set to be introduced in September, students will be able to access four Bachelors of Science (BSc.) programmes in the areas of Psychology and Criminology; Mathematics and Physics; Computer Science and Information Technology and Environmental Management and Technology.
“We plan to enrol at least 200 students for these online programmes which means if I am living in Sand Creek or Lethem, or wherever I am, I can do my degree without coming to Region Four,” Professor Opadeyi explained.
The Vice Chancellor is convinced that “the online degree will “reduce our overhead,” even as he disclosed that “right now we have Brazilians living in Lethem who want to take our online degree programme, and I think that is another area of growth that we can embark on.”
Although the University has already received applications for the online programme, the Vice Chancellor did not disclose how many have been accepted thus far. He noted too that while the programmes are ready to be offered, the University is still working towards further promoting them.
In addition to having a specifically outlined tuition fee, the online programme will see each student being afforded a laptop computer and/or other information technology devices to be able to efficiently undertake their programme of choice.
The devices made available to the students, Professor Opadeyi said, will come as part of the tuition fee package.
“Our students must be acute in the area of information technology, because each of them will have a laptop…so you can’t say I don’t want it, because all of your assignments have to be typed, emailed…everything will be electronic,” Professor Opadeyi noted.
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