Government seeks to Expand UB into Global Campus with Science and Tech Focus

Government seeks to Expand UB into Global Campus with Science and Tech Focus

The Ministry of Education is looking to expand the University of Belize into a global campus that will incorporate Science, Technology and Innovation, also referred to as STI.  It is a plan where the government foresees the inclusion of local and regional private and public sector participation.  Dr. Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State for Education, Science and Technology, explained that the global campus will include several international universities.

Dr.Louis Zabaneh, Area Rep, Dangriga: “Of course we’re a small population but when we look at Central America and the Caribbean and southern Mexico we’re looking at easily over 30 million people and once we are able then to take that view we can start envisioning innovative ways to be able to be the center of this activity. One of the visions that we have is that we wish to evolve the University of Belize into a global campus. And so we want to invite four or five international universities or universities from other countries in the region, on other continents, to set up particular faculties at the University of Belize. So immediately we leapfrog that campus into a global campus that is able to produce graduates of international standard in areas of engineering, mathematics, etc. So we’re seen that over the first five-year period. Then in the next five-year period, we’re looking to develop a STI park right on the campus at the University of Belize. that would then be attractive because we have a global campus that is able to supply the competent human capital. And not just of Belizeans, but inviting people from the region to enroll at this global campus. There’s no such thing within our region. A couple of them are beginning to pop up in South America. We see it in the Asian countries. South Korea, for example, has a particular global campus in Incheon and where they set up the infrastructure and they have about five different universities that have set up right there on that campus. So we’re seeing this model beginning to be utilized around the world.”

With Belize looking to step up its efforts in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation, and having already embarked on works in innovation, including policies on e-governance and digitization, the government is now developing an STI Strategy.  The STI strategy will essentially produce students with extensive knowledge in these areas to prepare them for global advancements.  According to Dr Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State for Education, Science and Technology, the STI Strategy is based on a 30-year horizon.

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