Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 29, 2023 (SKNIS): In a significant educational endeavour, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, accompanied by Permanent Secretary Lisa Romaine Pistana, led a Southern University (SU) and Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) College delegation on an insightful tour of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) on December 28, 2023.
The tour follows the historic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in September 2023, at Southern University in Louisiana, which Dr. Hanley executed with SU President, Dennis Shields. The MOU between the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and Southern University enhanced educational opportunities and accessibility.
During the tour, Dr. Hanley expressed his admiration for the Southern University Campus, noting the divine orchestration of the partnership. He extended special recognition to Her Excellency Hadiya Claxton, Special Envoy for Investment, Development, and International Business Relations, and her husband for their instrumental role in turning this vision into reality.
Dr. Hanley remarked on the unique family-oriented approach of Southern University, emphasising that it removes barriers for Kittitian and Nevisian students aspiring to pursue higher education.
“In St. Kitts and Nevis, we are happy with the partnership that we have with Southern University… It is a mind-blowing experience that is yet to overtake St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Minister Hanley.
A key focus of the tour was the integration of CFBC as an extension of Southern University, ensuring a smooth transition for CFBC students into Southern University programmes. Dr. Hanley praised this development, noting that it will serve as a model for future MOUs with other universities.
“I can comfortably say that the MOU that we signed with Southern University will become the model of MOUs going forward with other universities because it was well-detailed, it was very impactful and Kittitians and Nevisians in particular, will benefit,” expressed the education minister.
The MOU encompasses notable provisions such as in-state tuition rates for undergraduate and graduate programmes, providing significant financial benefits to students. Additionally, Dr. Hanley said that the integration of CFBC credits and the recognition of Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects as entry qualifications into Southern University’s framework are revolutionary steps towards streamlining education and fostering inclusivity.
Deputy Prime Minister Hanley thanked the Southern University delegation for their contribution and expressed eagerness for a strengthened partnership in the coming years. He said that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis values this collaboration, foreseeing a future of enriched educational opportunities and accessibility for its citizens.