There is hope for NCU - Gardner
Outgoing President of the Northern Caribbean University Dr Trevor Gardner is hopeful that amid the numerous challenges faced, the institution will soon experience increased growth in all areas of operation.
Having lost a significant number of students, the institution has embarked on a path of renewal in the form of a restructured administration, increased scholarship grants, students' aid, and increased academic offerings.
According to Gardner, the immediate past school year has given hope for greater things to come.
"This year, there were more business contracts, more financial benefits brought into the university than in any previous year," said Gardner.
He noted that NCU will soon be given institutional accreditation, which is expected to save millions of dollars.
"The university is presently negotiating for the establishment of a naturopathic medical school on this campus, and this discussion is presently taking place with international bodies ... Very soon you will hear a public service announcement to this end," he further established
Having come under backlash publicly for the beliefs upheld as an Adventist institution, the outgoing president explains that the university will work around the challenges that come.
"We will not participate in competitions on the Sabbath day. NCU will, therefore, initiate an international competition next year in which individuals may participate regardless of religion, race or gender," said Gardner.
There is no doubt that as a result of the fees associated with tertiary education, several individuals have decided to opt out, but it is to this end that the institution has sought to alleviate the financial burdens.
"There has been a significant reduction in residency hall fees from a high two years ago of $92,500 and in the coming year, it will be $70,000, a 25 per cent reduction," said Gardner.
Gardner, who was speaking at the 93rd commencement recently, made a call for graduates to remember the institution and carry the mantra forward.
Incoming President Dr Lincoln Edwards encouraged the formidable force of the present and past students and implored them to produce at their optimum.
"We hope that the students mingle with the businesses and the communities from which you came and release your energy and productive capacity to change this nation and this society," Edwards said.