AMID TALKS of Mandeville becoming a university town, president of the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Trevor Gardner has said his institution has begun setting the stage for this to become reality.
"The parish must now deliberately seek out and ascertain other routes of economic prosperity... if we are to advance the agenda of the parish, we must begin to look at how to facilitate the tertiary institutions in the parish and help to advance the programmes within the reality of the people who dwell in the parish."
Speaking at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting last week Thursday, Gardner said in facilitating the advancement of the university town, his administration has already started implementing special initiatives.
"Among the new ideas being born are the annual Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics schoolyard, the Mathematics Education Institute - which was opened last year, expansion of graduate health programmes in collaboration with internationally recognised health institutions in the health fields and ventures into entrepreneurship ... the university has already initiated courses
that will accommodate the logistics hub ... ," Gardner told the gathering.
The president also said
18 months ago, the board of governors for the institution embarked on a study to explore the possibility of having a teaching hospital in Mandeville and will produce the final report next year June.
The institution's financial report shows that it contributed $15 billion to the gross domestic product over the last five years. Current plans will see its contribution doubling over the next five years.
"We also have on the planning block now four industries to come up within the next five years, not going to identify those in particular, but they will bring credit in terms of work opportunities to somewhere in the region of a thousand people in Manchester," stated Gardner
According to Gardner, institutions such as the Mico University College has latched on the idea of a university town by mapping out a geographical space. However, he believes with the multiplicity of institutions in the parish, Manchester is ideal for such a development.