Barbados may soon be welcoming another American university to its shores.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley today revealed that talks with Chamberlain University have already begun and she was hoping those discussions can soon be “wrapped up”.
She made the disclosure during a tour of the Villages at Coverley, where 1,500 students and staff at the Ross University School of Medicine will reside.
Chamberlain University is a for-profit healthcare and nursing school that offers bachelor, master and doctoral degree programmes in nursing, and a public health master’s degree.
While not disclosing detail, Mottley, who visited the area along with Minister of Tourism Kerri Symmonds, Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, Acting Minister of Education Lucille Moe and officials from Ross University, said Government was using Ross as a test run.
“We haven’t spoken about the work we are doing with Chamberlain University, which is a nursing school, and we are looking to see how we can wrap that up as we go along. But we want to perfect what we are doing with Ross first, while at the same time having a conversation with the Barbados Community College and Chamberlain,” the Prime Minister said.
“As you know, the Government of Barbados is already in the provision of nursing education, but we feel through partnerships we can deliver better and more, especially given that there is a global shortage of nurses that we experience in today’s world.”
With students and staff expected to arrive in Coverley from as early as Saturday, Mottley said she was impressed at the transformation that had taken place in the community in less than four months.
Giving the project an ‘A-’, she praised developer Mark Maloney and his team for their outstanding work in ensuring arrangements were in place, and described it as a “true exercise in partnership”.
Mottley said the students’ arrival would give the country’s economy a much-needed boost.
“We’re probably starting off the year with the equivalent of 75 000 seven-day tourists. That is what Ross’ equivalent is to us,” she said.
In a brief speech, Maloney said the finished project was a result of all hands being on deck.
“This couldn’t be a better example of public sector, private sector and Government collaboration. What I think we have achieved as a group is no less than amazing. Just three and a half months ago, we were discussing and facilitating bringing Ross here to Coverley and we assembled a team of 1 000 workers . . . and to get everything done in this time is phenomenal and shows what can happen in Barbados when everybody comes together,” the developer said.
Lisa Wardell, chief executive officer of the university’s parent company Adtalem Global Education, said that judging from what she had seen, students and staff would be happy with the accommodations.
“Our students are going to be thrilled. They have been in temporary locations and to be here all together—our Canadian students, our US students and all of our international students together—that is going to be a wonderful homecoming for them,” Wardell said