The University of the Virgin Islands entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis on July 24. The MOU is intended to provide CFBC students an opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution. CFBC is a two-year college. UVI President Dr. David Hall and St. Kitts/Nevis Minister of Education and Information Nigel Carty officially signed the agreement in St. Kitts.
Through the agreement, students in St. Kitts/Nevis will be able to attend UVI at 1.75 times the rate paid by U.S. Virgin Islands residents and the St. Kitts/Nevis government will provide 25 scholarships or financial assistance of not less than $7,500 annually. Additionally, six study-leave scholarships will be awarded to government employees, who will receive 80 percent of their salary while taking classes.
As part of the agreement, the St. Kitts/Nevis government will provide space for UVI to operate in the Federation, give UVI the opportunity to do consulting work, allow for faculty exchange and allow faculty research collaborations. UVI Special Assistant to the President Dr. Haldane Davies said that researchers will be able to collaborate in areas like green technology, conservation and fisheries, engineering and marine studies. He said that a relationship already exists between UVI and CFBC in the form of a room equipped with video conferencing capabilities that is available for instruction and other purposes between the two institutions.
“It is a full commitment of the Federation to ensure that everyone here would have that fair opportunity to be able to participate in higher education as offered by the University of the Virgin Islands in a manner, form and mode that will be best suited to their situation,” said Dr. Davies, speaking at the signing ceremony held in St. Kitts. “Whether those individuals will be able to journey to our campuses in the U.S Virgin Islands or whether they could take those courses right here at CFBC by means of having an off-site location here in the Federation is an opportunity that this MOU presents.
”President Hall was pleased with the collaboration. “The connection between St. Kitts/Nevis and the University of the Virgin Islands is a long standing one and this is a natural evolution,” said Dr. Hall. “When you think about a partnership, when you think about entering into a relationship with another entity or with another country, the question that always comes up is ‘how is this relationship going to benefit both sides?’ We have compelling proof that any relationship with CFBC and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is going to benefit us all because it has happened in the past and we know it is going to happen in the future.”
“St. Kitts and Nevis has come a very long way,” said Carty. “This transformation has come through education.” He said the people will continue to advance as the Government seeks to place them in higher education opportunities.
The term of the MOU is 10 years, with a midterm review conducted after five years. UVI will advise CFBC students on the courses and programs that would allow for a smooth transition between the institutions.