The Cave Hill School of Business/The University of the West Indies (CHSB/UWI) is a renowned educational institution in Barbados and the OECS, dedicated to the professional development of local and regional human capital and their ability to compete on the global market. For twenty-four years the CHSB/UWI has provided Academic and Executive training programmes to thousands of regional employees, managers and business leaders. In response to the persisting economic challenges which have affected numerous organizations, two private sector financial institutions are highlighting their support of the educational pursuits of regional participants seeking to enrol at the CHSB/UWI. On Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 CHSB/UWI hosted a press launch entitled “The Cave Hill School of Business/UWI – Private Sector Partnership: Private Sector Support of Higher Learning” to reveal the financial opportunities which have been presented by The First Citizens Bank (FCB) and the City of Bridgetown Credit Union (COBCU).
Dr Justin Robinson – Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus highlighted the importance of business schools in marrying managerial practice and academia. Therefore, as he asserted, the financial support provided is more than mere funding; FCB and COB are contributing to an increased interaction between students and practitioners. Through analogy, he depicted the increased relevance of organizations to the modern world and the need to ensure that there is continuation of the partnerships built on the sharing of expertise, financial assistance and other aspects central to the development of organizations.
FCB has been a long standing partner of CHSB/UWI and has joined the business school in numerous initiatives such as the Women’s Success Showcase, Men’s Leadership Conference, Young Professionals Programme and the Dare to Dream Business Idea competition. Their dedication to the development of education will be further reflected in the contribution of scholarships made available to participants of CHSB/UWI’s Executive Diploma in Management and Real Estate programmes, Masters in Business Administration and Doctorate in Business Administration. Reflecting on the successful partnership, Ms Nicola Harris - Human Resources Manager, First Citizens (Barbados) Ltd stated that she was pleased that “the investments yielded significant results” and is impressed by CHSB/UWI’s commitment to imparting cutting edge business acumen. She also shared her appreciation of the way in which CHSB/UWI has been making use of the US$300,000 contribution from FCB, while reinforcing that more funding will be provided in the future. Further, Ms Harris assured, “In the Cave Hill School of Business, we have found a prime opportunity to invest in the Caribbean’s intellectual bank account and to ensure that our industry leaders and decision makers are equipped with the best in business practices.”
Through a recent strategic alignment between CHSB/UWI and COBCU, the COB-CHSB/UWI Educational loan was conceptualized to provide easier access to funding of Academic programmes at the business school. Unlike the usual loan schemes, COB-CHSB/UWI will be converting the loan to a grant if the participant’s Academic achievements are exceptional. In his address, Mr Winston Alleyne – Member Relations Executive, City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union Ltd highlighted the motivation propelling this unprecedented initiative by assuring that, “COB is cognizant of the challenges which members are facing and are desirous of making education affordable.” He stated that the loan-to-grant opportunity will bring affordable and reasonable financing.
Dr Roderick Rudder – Senior Education Officer, Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation highlighted the value of education as an economic sector, referring to the increased financial rewards for persons who return to education around the age of 40 years. He stated that these individuals are in a better position to make a contribution to their organization and, by extension, national development. He applauded the financial contribution of these private entities and their commitment to providing financial support to higher learning, with emphasized praise for the opportunities offered by COBCU. In his summation: “The COB loan-to-grant initiative not only provides access to funding of the degree programmes at CHSB, it also allows persons to strive for educational excellence.”