Minister Fitzgerald Announces COB’s Transition to the University of The Bahamas

‘The Road to University’ has begun at The College of The Bahamas (COB), with November 10, 2016 as the Charter Day on which COB will officially become the University of The Bahamas.

Education, Science & Technology Minister the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald announced the transition of The College of The Bahamas to the University of The Bahamas at a press conference, August 25, 2016 at the Harry C. Moore Library of COB.  He pointed out that the road to university comprised a paradigm shift in the culture and fabric of the country in relation to tertiary education and national development as a whole — an important step in the building of a more modern nation.

He said: “I am deeply honoured to be here to speak to this significant moment in the history of our nation.  Our government has long had a vision for modern education for The Bahamas.  The road to university is a journey that was mapped out by the Right Honourable Prime Minister Perry Christie fourteen years ago.  Now, this vision is finally being realized,” said Minister Fitzgerald.

“This month, I had the distinct pleasure to table the University of The Bahamas Bill in the House of Assembly, which was recently passed by Parliament. It provides the legislative framework for the official transition of The College of The Bahamas to The University of The Bahamas.”

As such, November 10 will be the Charter Day effecting that transition.

“I want you to know that the road to university does not just mean passing a bill or changing a name – it is a paradigm shift in the culture and fabric of our country, as it relates to tertiary education and national development as a whole.  It is a shift in how we experience higher education in The Bahamas, as we will be amongst many other nations who boast of having a national university. We are here today to witness the building of a more modern nation,” said Minister Fitzgerald.

He continued: “The narrative of the University of The Bahamas is founded on four strong pillars:

  1. First class knowledge in the realm of academics
  2. Building strong communities through university level infrastructure,
  3. Creating a modern space for learning by committing to service excellence;
  4. And, growing our legacy through transparent financial management.

“I want to note that The College of The Bahamas already has sufficient attributes of a university, which will be leveraged for further success. Some of these university attributes include:

  • The fact that the majority of students at COB are graduating with bachelor degrees – 70% of 2014/2015 graduates earned a bachelor’s degree;
  • A high quality of programmes and excellence that has been achieved in teaching – COB offers more than 60 programmes across a broad range of disciplines;
  • The progress that is being made in building graduate programmes; and
  • The increasing productivity that The College has demonstrated in research and publication output.”

The Minister invited the general public to join in the events during Charter Week in November to celebrate the official transition. A full schedule of events will be posted on the University of The Bahamas’ website and on The Ministry of Education’s website.

“I want to take the time to thank all of the partners, who are working with us on the road to university: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Works; Customs and Immigration; the Royal Bahamas Police Force; Bahamas Information Services; ZNS; and the Public Health Authority.”

Minister Fitzgerald said that November 10th is an exciting national day of celebration. The Charter Day Ceremony is open to the public, and they are encouraged, on that day and the days surrounding Charter Day, to wear the university royal blue – or ‘UB Blue’.

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