The American University of Barbados (AUB) has purchased the BET building at the bottom of Wildey, St. Michael, and will soon be expanding its operations here.
Education Minister, Ronald Jones, briefing the media on the progress of the AUB here and their recent acquisition of the property said today at the Elsie Payne Complex: “We thought that we would share good news…as you know the American University of Barbados is just five years old; [it] started in Wildey in one of the smaller spaces, and has gone from there to be located at Landsdown, Silver Sands.”
He added: “We have walked with the AUB…. It was the first external medical institution to be established in Barbados, and so we have walked with them and they have in fact responded quite well, both in the expansion of numbers and in the quality of their programmes, and in the recruitment of both domestic and foreign medical tutors, professors and lecturers, and that has augured well for the interest being generated now across many spaces of the world.”
He explained that with the most recent recognition of Barbados as a centre where American students could get federal loans and grants, any medical institution in Barbados would be able to benefit from those students coming to them.
“So, that too was and is a signal honour. Cave Hill was a beneficiary of that as well, and AUB, once they are able to maintain this very high standard would also be a beneficiary of that. It is conferred upon a country and not just an individual or an entity. So, that is important,” Mr. Jones said.
It was further noted that several students were now off island training in their clinicals and rotations, and very soon Barbados would have its first set of graduates from the AUB.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, reflected on the many hours spent trying to determine how Barbados could recapture and improve the position the island once had in the Caribbean as a place for regional education, educational tourism and a significant earner of foreign exchange and a creator of jobs.
He expressed pleasure at the fact that the recent purchase was orchestrated in a timely fashion, and said: “This transaction is very important to us because of the significant growth that it represents…because it cements our relationship with a major country [India] in the world, … a country which is going to be much more significant in the scheme of world affairs.”
Principal of the AUB, Meesam Ali Khan, in thanking the Ministers, said by investing in the newly acquired property, they were assuring Barbadians that AUB would be here for a long time.