UB Comes Under Fire by Portuguese Lecturer

Updated: April 5, 2016

The University of Belize has come under heavy fire from a man claiming to be a past lecturer there. Márcio Augusto, a Portuguese national said he was a lecturer at the University of Belize from September 2015 until March 15, 2016. Augusto wrote a one thousand word article criticizing the operations and services at the University of Belize. He sent that article to the newspapers which in turn published his opinions and views. According to Augusto, he and his wife had been invited by UB to be lecturers and were told that the university needed to raise its standards. So they attempted to do that but quote, “As the first semester came to an end, it was visible that many of our students became disgruntled. Even after deeply adjusting standards to the national context, most of the students were failing for the very simple reason that most were unable to show a basic degree of understanding of the contents” end of quote. Augusto contends that quote, “not only did the Faculty’s management team do like Pontius Pilate, leaving us alone to deal with all these things, but they actually encouraged students to be belligerent. We were left unprotected, all internal rules were disregarded, and the burden of proof was ours”, end of quote. He says they were threatened by the students and had a genuine fear for their lives. Augusto says that a group of students complained to the management of the school which led to their work being scrutinized. However, the basis for their complaints could not be proven, Augusto writes. He asserts that he was being punished for quote, “being professional and for having reasonable standards, for not accepting plagiarism, for making students be held accountable for their own actions”, end of quote. These are damning allegations against the University’s Management by some who worked there. Backing up his views is the University of Belize Faculty & Staff Association (UBFSA). The interim President of the Association, Harrison Flowers penned an open letter to the President, Board of Directors and Administrative team. In that letter, Flowers states quote, “The UBFSA is of the opinion that most of the issues reflect the current reality of our institution” end of quote. Flowers further states that these issues have been brought up to the UBSCFA on multiple occasions by numerous employees. Flowers says quote, “It is true that there is widespread discontent and disenchantment at all levels and across all campuses of the University” end of quote. The UBFSA is calling on the President and the Board of Directors to convene a general Staff and Faculty meeting to discuss the most pressing issues. We have contacted UB’s office of public information for a comment but we have not received a response as yet.