Georgetown, GINA, April 27, 2015
Investors continue to show their confidence in Guyana’s growing economy with the latest being Texila American University, which today broke ground at the construction site for its new US$20M campus at Providence, East Bank Demerara.
President Donald Ramotar turned the sod at the site and unveiled a billboard of the architect’s design for the new campus, in the company of Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali, Founder and President of Texila, Mr. S.P Saju Bhaskar; Vice President of International Operations Mr Ashok Kumar, and Dr. Maria Declaro.
The President noted that there are two perspectives to this latest development project, as “We can see it as a new type of tourism; education tourism that is important for the economy and an investment in our country which once again demonstrates the confidence that investors have reposed in our country over the past years, and we have attracted quite a lot of local and foreign investors so that our country can move forward.”
Texila University started in Guyana four years ago with seven students, and today has about 435 from several countries, including Guyanese. It has an academic staff of about 100.
The President said that the project, which is expected to be completed within a year’s time, will complement Guyana’s human capital development thrust, which is critical to taking the country from a developing to developed country status.
“This project itself is particularly pleasing to me since we in the PPP/C, we strongly believe that the important factor for development is the quality of people we have, and in that regard education plays a very important role, and Texila University will not only be brining students from abroad, they have also local students that are here and will come to study in the future and that is extremely important for us because it will help us to lift our standard and make more accessible, possibilities of education for our young people and our people at large.”
President Donald Ramotar addressing the gathering at the sod turning ceremony for Texila University’s US$20M campus
The President said that universities such as Texila’s would further support Government’s drive to deliver highly specialised and higher quality of health services, such as those that will be provided by the Speciality Hospital that a new PPPC Government plans to build.
“That would be another investment that the government would be putting in that will create another form of tourism, health tourism,” the President. Health tourism plays a big role in India’s development and would augur well for Guyana, he added.
“We believe that it will offer us a possibly to deliver world class services to our people to give them access to services that they could not afford or cannot afford now and to help them to live even longer. Over the years we have extended life expectancy in the period of the PPP/C Government from about 58 years to now close to 70 years, and as we go forward, I expect that age will rise and the need for such a university will become even greater and this campus will play important role in helping us to train our own Guyanese to man many of these areas,” the Head of State said.
President Donald Ramotar takes a look at the artist’s impression of Texila University’s new campus which is to be constructed at Providence, East Bank Demerara
He committed his Government’s support to guarantee the project’s successful completion, “to ensure rapid development so that we can be known right across the world as a country that is very very strong in producing quality students that can be trusted with their work…”
Minister Ali also noted that the project will have tremendous benefits for Guyana, as educational tourism has shown to be successful in many countries, such as Grenada with the St. George’s Medical University. He explained that there are economic benefits to gain, as well for Guyana because of the spending power of foreign students. He noted that Government is negotiating with three other similar institutions to establish a presence in Guyana.
“In a small population like ours we have to find innovative ways of creating the avenues to attract higher demand for what we produce, and that is why I think this university will bring tremendous benefits to us”.
President Donald Ramotar, Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce Irfaan Ali, and Texila University’s Officials stand by the mounted artist’s impression of the university’s new campus which is to be built at Providence, East Bank Demerara
He also noted that the new facility is being situated in a well thought out plan of urban spread along the East Bank corridor that will be linked to the East Coast corridor.
“Where this facility is located you will see on the left hand side the Qualfon campus that will employ 6000 Guyanese when in full operation, on the right hand side nursing homes to international standards being constructed, you would see a modern mall on the entrance to this road. You will see communities structured among middle income homes, low income homes and lower middle income home and why is this important? It is important so that the lower middle income family can benefit from the equity value that the higher earning family and the gated community bring to the development spread in the area. This means that the asset value of a low income family immediately moves up from $100,000- the cost of the land, to $4-5 million. So we are empowering people and improving their asset base and this gives them greater access to liquidity.”
The minister noted that this is in addition to the ICT Park that will make Guyana the most important player in this area in this part of the world. “I believe strongly that educational tourism will play an integral part in our tourism product,” he said. There is need to prepare for this global change in the legislative arena, he added.
Established in Guyana in 2010, Texila American University (TAU) offers programmes in its campus for pre-medicine, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Dentistry and Bachelors in Nursing. It offers clinical rotation for its medical students in the United States, Philippines and Guyana.
Texila American University Limited, Hong Kong based, in Partnership with University of Central Nicaragua (UCN) trains over 1600 plus students from more than 60 countries.
Once completed, the University’s President Saju Bhaskar said that it will be among the top five medical schools in the Caribbean. He noted that the university is committed to Guyana and plans to build a 100-bed hospital to serve Guyanese.
Source : http://www.gina.gov.gy/home/index.php/home/all-news/item/2232-texila-university-turns-sod-for-us-20m-campus-will-complement-guyana-s-human-capital-development-thrust-president-ramotar