Consolidation underway of key educational institutions


The process has commenced for the amalgamation of all government post-secondary and tertiary institutions.

Minister of Education and Sports, Daryll Matthew told Parliament on Friday the aim is to create a school of technology, hospitality and training, school of business and school of engineering.

This will allow for officials to critically examine post-secondary education in a holistic manner and to plan accordingly. Minister Matthew explained the consolidation of the institutions will see students who are enrolled in a specific school, travelling to other campuses for classes.

He stressed the importance of scheduling in the process to ensure students are not inconvenienced.

“It’s no different from any university anywhere in the world where they have several schools. The schools do not have to be located on the same physical compound,” the education minister said.

The planned amalgamation of the post-secondary institutions is expected to prove beneficial in several ways, chief among them it stops institutions from competing with each other for human talent and allows for standardized tuition.

Minister Matthew argued that no post-secondary institution should be higher than that of the University of the West Indies, stating “we have institutions here that cost more to go, than to go to the University of the West Indies. We cannot price our people out of education”.

“I know there are some that will say well it takes money to run the college. Yes! But it is not your money, it’s taxpayers money. And so whether or not you are able to collect the money that you believe you need to cover all of your expenses, all of that is underwritten by the government. We cannot continue to use money as an excuse for our people not to get education,” the education minister declared.

The recommendation for the consolidation of government post-secondary and tertiary institutions was contained in a 2006 report. It suggested the creation of one institution, to be managed by a central authority that delivers training in the manner that is required.

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  1. There is no debating it. Education is a key success marker and has a direct impact on crime and other social issues. Its an easy remedy to identify. Education is a no brainer. Dont think about it, just do it.

  2. This is great news!
    Properly structuring the college system would be the last remaining thing that needs to be done to provide a pathway to tertiary education to all aspiring students with different God given abilities and interests in different areas.

    However, just a few considerations…
    I am not sure that having students moving about a lot to different campuses is such a great idea if taken too far. Moving about might work for one or two courses e.g. going to a particular site for Computer courses, but would be very taxing for students for a lot of courses. What is needed is to carefully divide all the programs into different campuses e.g. Schools of Business; Engineering, Science and Technology; Hospitality; Teacher Education; and some kind of school for Performing and Fine Arts. (That last one should have its own campus constructed maybe with a nice open air stage and other design elements that would be useful for that area.)

    Dividing the programmes more, building new spaced out campuses, and expanding existing campuses is most important right now because some campuses are overcrowded right now. Current campuses cannot accomodate all the students graduating from secondary schools in Antigua, particularly in these Covid times. It is in Antigua’s best interests and that of the young people coming up for each and every student to have the opportunity to pursue a course of study at the higher level in their area of interest.

    • Forgot to mention also some kind of School of Social Sciences?
      Anyway different spaced out campuses for all would be ideal future planning… Either that or one humongous campus somewhere… maybe renovate a former hotel?

  3. It would be a good idea for consultations to be held with different stakeholders e.g. educators, industry experts, parents, students before finalizing plans for the consolidated institution. Every field of specialization is different. E.g. some colleges programmes are more on the theoretical academic side, preparing students for further higher level study, whilst others are more on the technical/practical side, preparing students for immediate employment. It might be difficult to marry the two. Would one college really work or should there be two – an academic college and a vocational college? Educators should be consulted…

    Also, are there any other programmes that parents, students and the public would like to have access to locally? What about adult education programmes for older persons who want to change careers or study for the first time? What about part-time online programmes with occasional visits to the site for practical components – some persons might find those helpful…

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