By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a US $400,000 grant to the government of Belize to facilitate a comprehensive institutional assessment of the University of Belize (UB), which will inform on how to enhance its operations, and become the place of choice for tertiary level education in the country.
GOB will also provide counterpart funding of US $88,000 for the institutional assessment. The review will address the adequacy, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the corporate systems and operational procedures, and assist the institution to increase enrollment.
CDB’s Education Operations Officer Idamay Denny, said the review of the UB is important because opportunities have to be provided for students who are achieving better outcomes to continue their education.
“The government of Belize recognizes that there is need to enhance the capacity of the UB to take in the additional output that will arrive out of the enhancement of education at the basic education level. Hence the focus on improving the potential for the university to perform this role”, Denny said.
UB is home to 80 percent of the more than 5,000 registered university students in Belize. Belize’s strategic policy outlines a direction for UB that seeks to improve the quality and relevance of higher education, and strengthen the governance of the university with emphasis on increased student achievement.
While UB has registered a 57 percent increase in its enrolment between 2003 and 2013-14, tertiary enrollment rates in Belize still lag significantly behind other countries in the region. Both the government and the university have indicated that in the medium term these issues must be addressed if UB is to achieve its objectives and realize the stated goals for expansion of tertiary education in Belize.
UB has therefore identified the need for reviewing the current approaches to address human resource management, risk management, procurement, financial operations, and cost-recovery and income diversification strategies.