St. Vincent & the Grenadines Green Party

Articles

Fri 1st Jul 2022

SVG needs its own science university for a prosperous future

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SVG is one of the few countries that does not have its own university. This fact, alone, is a major factor in why our country has failed to make much progress on the path to prosperity. The most prosperous countries in the world have their own universities, as they realised they have to educate their people to strengthen their economy.

SVG's number one resource is its people, which is why we need our own university. University education for our people is so important for sustainable development in our country. The future and dreams of our children depend upon university education, to empower them to obtain long-term, high paid jobs in SVG and abroad.

Whilst all forms of education are important to a country, it is university education that is crucial for sustainable development and moves a country forward. Only a Green government has the vision and desire to build a university in SVG. With their mass tourism policies, the ULP and NDP regimes prefer to waste taxpayers' money turning SVG into a holiday playground for rich tourists.

SVG has had over 40 years of our economy focused on tourism. This economic strategy has been a failure, as the high levels of unemployment, crime and poverty throughout our country illustrate. A change of direction is needed.

Mass tourism only provides short-term, low-paid, insecure jobs like those in Mustique and Canouan. Having our own university would help create wealth for our people and bring long-term, secure jobs. The offshoot industries from the university, such as accommodation and vehicle rental, shops, restaurants and food supplies, will encourage the creation of hundreds of small businesses and thousands of jobs.

The ULP and NDP lack vision. They remain committed to begging and borrowing from Taiwan, Cuba and other countries, obtaining only a handful of scholarships for a privileged few. An SVG university will provide opportunities for all Vincentians and will be free for all Vincentians.

Singapore is only twice the size of SVG in area, but has a US$340 billion dollar economy, over 250 times the size of our economy. It has been able to achieve economic prosperity, because it has more than 40 universities (including public and private ones) and has a highly educated population.

The United Nations (UN) ex-Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that 'education is not simply a moral imperative; it is the smart choice. Every dollar invested generates $10 to $15 in returns. Our shared ideals are simple. We want all children to attend primary school and to progress to secondary school and relevant higher education'.

In 2005, Fiji built its first university. It was built to provide high quality, affordable higher education to the many students who had no access to other tertiary institutions. The university's objective was to provide higher education relevant to Fiji's needs, and, bearing in mind the global economic framework, to support Fiji's development as a sustainable and strong economy. This is precisely what SVG lacks.

The development of a university educated workforce is crucially important in boosting our economy and creating thousands of new jobs.

Companies invest heavily in Singapore because their people are highly qualified; when SVG has a highly educated workforce, investors will place their business operations in SVG.

A Green government would build a science and technology university, so our people have the opportunity to become highly educated.

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