Fri | Sep 22, 2017

New UTech president promises to make students centre of development

Published:Saturday | March 18, 2017 | 3:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Professor Stephen Vasciannie, president of the University of Technology.

While acknowledging that the University of Technology (UTech) has made great strides in producing graduates who are 'industry ready' and is still the leading institution in training health professionals, particularly in pharmacy, newly installed president, Professor Stephen Vascianne said a lot more needs to be done in making students the centre of development.

That was the commitment he made as he was installed as the fourth president of the university on Tuesday at the institution's auditorium.

"Over the past 10 weeks or so, I have sought to listen to various groups within the UTech community, but in the midst of my listening, I have sought to be guided by certain fundamental elements which help to define my vision for the institution," the president told the gathering.

"UTech must ensure that it provides a student-friendly environment. Our students must know that we are working to ensure that they fulfil their intellectual potential in keeping with international standards of treatment, teaching and learning," he continued.

 

EVEN-HANDED RULES

 

Vascianne also indicated that in keeping with a student-centred approach, rules must be applied with a sympathetic, balanced and even-handed spirit.

"Perceptions of different treatment without justification will invariably cause grievance. By the same token, in matters such as the administration of discipline and in the treatment of applications in various areas of university life, we must aspire towards the highest standards of customer service," he said.

"In placing students at the centre of our academic universe, we should also be mindful of practical challenges faced by students. If you have a scholarship, for instance, you should receive the benefits of the scholarship on time. If you wish to use Wi-Fi from your hall of residence, you should be able to do so without hassle."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com