St. George’s University (SGU) has announced plans to recruit more students from China and Africa to give the offshore school a more international look as part of its expansion plans.
Chancellor Charles Modica said that millions of dollars will be spent as part of the SGU expansion under a new arrangement reached with two new investors, Altas of Canada and Baring International from Asia.
“We think the people of Grenada need to have a more international student body and not just primarily from the US so in 10 or 20 years from now we would like to see this as almost the mini-UN of medical and other education”, he told THE NEW TODAY newspaper.
“…It’s a very ambitious project but it was an ambitious project 38 years ago when we started so we think we can do it. We think the safety of the country and the atmosphere of the country (are) really commensurate with higher education and that’s important for parents of students wherever they are in the world,” he said.
According to Chancellor Modica, he is confident that with the financial input from two new partners that the dream will become a reality.
“…Within a year or two we think there would be enough applicants from these countries to expand physically the campus and make a meaningful further expansion of what’s here already,” he remarked.
The SGU boss praised the safety record of Grenada as a contributing factor to the success of the university over the years.
“We now have the ability to make Grenada and the environment that you’ve created for it a safe environment for students, a caring environment and for the academic people one that they are really given the opportunity (for) a great education and you couple that with students that really wanna learn – you can’t do anything but succeed the way we have”, he said.
“…It’s this country, the people here, the government here and the students that come here to get this kind of education (that) has made this successful, we want to open it up to other areas in the world and Baring and Altas are going to let us do that in a meaningful (and) respectful way that continues Grenada’s prominence in the medical education field,” he added.
Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell who was present at the ceremony, reminded everyone of the University’s contribution to Grenada’s development over the years.
The school, which was started in 1976 under the former government of late Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy is considered to be the largest private sector employer in the country.
According to PM Mitchell, he is confident that the new partners will help to further advance SGU.
“…It is this relationship that we have cultivated over the years and that we have continued to build on that has made me so very proud to be here today and I am confident that this new expansion will yield further tremendous dividends for all the people of our country,” he remarked.
The Prime Minister disclosed that his 18-month old administration would be working with the University on a teaching hospital project that was initiated under the previous Congress government of Tillman Thomas.
“…Such a venture will open up a new frontier in medical research and technology and provide further training for generations of medical practitioners”, he said.
“A teaching hospital will be able to graduate residents from all around the world while retaining some of the graduates here,” he added.
Another project that the SGU will be focusing on is “Invisionation” which should yield fruits in the next 8 to 10 years.
Chancellor Modica said that this project will make Grenada a focal point for health and wellness in the form of Medical tourism.
“We want to … use the branding that we have had for 38 years that has been excellent to continue with medical tourism….”, he said.
This 500 million US dollar project, he said can take between 8 to 10 year to develop and “we think that this can happen, and if it can happen it could happen in no better place for success than in Grenada”.
According to the head of SGU, there has been an expanding need through out the world for innovative projects that allow for less expensive medical care and Grenada can provide this facility.
“What happened is from the US for instance people go as far as Thailand for procedures because the cost may be more intense of what it would be in the US and they willing to travel that far”, he said.
“Our vision is that it is a lot easier to travel four or five hours south of North America to receive the same quality care and we can produce all of the people needed in the infrastructure whether it’s nurses, managers, administrators, whatever doctors, we can produce all of the needed specialties to allow for that to occur right here in Grenada using Grenadians,” he added.
Chancellor Modica was confident that this would be a win-win situation for Grenada as well as the Medical community.