Highlights — 02 June 2018 — by Courtney Menzies
UB unveils new plans

BELMOPAN, Mon. May 28, 2018– For about a year, UB president Clement Sankat has been working on a new plan for the University of Belize (UB). Most of this plan includes the implementation of new programs as well as the enhancement of current ones. Today, President Sankat told us about what lies ahead for the upcoming academic year.

Last year, UB implemented Bachelor programs for Pharmacy and Med Lab majors. Now, it will have Bachelor programs in Agriculture and Marine Biology. The school will also completely revise its Bachelor program for Biology to better prepare students for the job market.

UB will also introduce a four-year Bachelor program leading to a degree in Statistics as well as a one-year certificate program in Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The GIS program will be the first of its kind.

The Faculty of Technology and Science won’t be the only UB department that receives an upgrade, however. The Social Sciences will also see improvements in certain programs such as Sociology, Criminal Justice, Archaeology, and more. President Sankat even revealed a new Creative Arts program he plans to implement.

Perhaps one of the biggest steps, however, is the establishment of the school’s second Master’s program. UB had implemented its Master’s program in Business, and now students will be able to attain a graduate degree in Education Leadership.

Another program that will see changes is the Engineering program. President Sankat mentioned that the Engineering program has been the same since it was implemented years ago, and he plans to revamp it.

In addition to new and improved programs, there will also be new and improved infrastructure. New engineering, biology, and chemistry labs are in the future for UB. The president focused heavily on the need to improve the medicine-related programs at the school.

The introduction of new programs will require the recruitment of additional instructors. UB will have to hire doctors to teach medical students, and archaeologists to teach archaeology students. Additionally, Dr. Sankat estimates the cost of the planned additional infrastructure to be upwards of $20 million US. The university currently has a deficit of about $3 million, and Dr. Sankat emphasized the need for funding.

Although there is a need for additional financing, the UB president also made it clear that the cost of students’ tuitions will not rise. He understands that raising the costs would be tougher on the students who are not able to pay, and therefore, he will allow for the tuition to remain the same for now.

President Sankat stated that this is an exciting time for UB, and he is thrilled to begin implementing these new programs. He calls this new plan “Vision 2022.”

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