Texila American University (TAU) has plans to expand its services here even as it as promotes “education tourism”. With an aim of 3000 students in five years, CEO Saju Bhaskar believes that Guyana’s economy could benefit significantly. The medical school which was established in September 2010 currently has a medicine and dentistry programme running and CEO Saju Bhaskar says the university is aiming to have 3000 students at the end of five years.
“With the current growth plan that we are in and the current achievements we have made in the short span makes it very clear that is a very possible and very realistic target that we are trying to bring in,” Bhaskar said at a press briefing held at the Critchlow Labour College. TAU is currently renting a section of the college to conduct its classes.TAU boasts an academic programme that is both accelerated and rigorous, with a focus on preparing students for licensure in the United States, the Caribbean and India. The school currently has 75 students, 50 of whom are overseas in their ongoing medicine and dentistry programme.
“Our research shows that each international student spends around US$10,000 into the economy that means that having 100 students will bring in US$1 million into the economy each year,” Bhaskar said. He reasoned that the university will be contributing US$30 million yearly into the Guyanese economy in the form of tuition and hostel living among other expenses when its attendance expands. The university draws international students from Asian and African countries and Bhaskar believes that it supports the concept of education tourism. Pointing out that many developed countries rely heavily on the exportation of education, Bhaskar believes that education can be a very important foreign exchange earner. TAU not only caters to foreigners. There are some 15 local students in the medicine and dentistry programmes and TAU offers a reduction in tuition fees. To attract more local students, TAU is launching a nursing programme in September. Accredited by the National Accreditation Council of Guyana, TAU is working with the Bristol University and the University of West England that could see students complete their clinical training in the United Kingdom. Bhaskar said the university is also in dialogue with universities in Florida for similar arrangements.
“We’ve also secured an agreement with the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where we will be training our doctors, apart from Georgetown Public Hospital we have hospitals in the United States and in Philippines and India where students could train for clinical training after they finish the clinical studies,” said Bhaskar.