With the new year upon us, the talk of change often comes as persons look to revive, revamp and/or renew. Right here in Barbados, change and reform has been part of the ongoing dialogue following the historic 2018 general elections. Barbadians are facing constant changes; some pleasing while others have been a hard to chew on.
Higher Education: UWI to Ross University
When it comes to education, the spotlight has been put on the sector. In the latter part of 2018 higher education was the focus with government’s commitment to the University of the West Indies and resuming the payment of tuition for Barbadian nationals coupled with the relocation of Ross University from Dominica to Barbados. Such events were a reminder of the island’s history of being an education hub for both locals and overseas persons, particularly during colonial times. While Ross University’s move to Barbados was not without controversy, for many the move is a welcomed boost to the economy. On the flip side, the move was on the heels of the closure of the University of Washington University Barbados Campus, which resulted in the displacement of international students who were forced to return home without any return on their investment. The dichotomy of these events makes me conservatively optimistic. While I believe that the influx of overseas North American off-shore medical schools is a catalyst of much needed growth in the Edu-Tourism sector, I cannot help but advocate for a national policy to introduce standards, branding and room for indigenous product/service creation.
The Common Entrance: Scrap or Not?
Once again, the volume button on the argument to discontinue the Barbados Secondary Entrance Exam has been turned up: this time to extremely loud. Everyone from the academic to the man on the street is weighing in on the debate. The current argument has made me revisit my bag of questions for the proponents of discontinuing or revamping the process of placing students in secondary school. Below are a few of the questions that come to my mind when listening to the debate:
What questions come to your mind when you thinking about the argument to revamp and/or discontinue the Common Entrance?
This debate is far from over, but this is all part of the change process. More to come.
Do you have questions about the college and university process?
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