Nassau, THE BAHAMAS — Providing new educational opportunities aimed at increasing the intellectual capacity of present and future University of The Bahamas (UB) students is the driving force behind a key partnership between UB and the One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF).
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been forged which facilitates access to resources, facilities and faculty.
During a virtual press conference and signing on Friday, 26th June 2020 officials acknowledged the timeliness of the partnership and shared values in teaching, learning and innovative development in curricula and relevant resources.
One Eleuthera Foundation CEO Mr. Shaun Ingraham said the new partnership with UB will further enhance the organization’s quest to not only promote a thirst for change amongst Eleuthera residents, but support the introduction of new methodologies in areas of sustainability, transformative practices, and aggressive educational opportunities that will provide the necessary tools to enable them to confront embedded beliefs that often sabotage progress and futuristic possibilities.
“The Memorandum of Understanding with University of The Bahamas is another giant step in reaching out to join hands and help write the continuing story of education in our country,” said Mr. Ingraham. “This new partnership will facilitate possibilities for our organizations and will benefit Bahamians and residents alike.”
Moving forward, joint approaches to fundraising, expanded capacity to realize sustainable and resilient island development will also be created, as well as experiential teaching and learning opportunities for UB students.
“The MOU will provide a framework to incentivize and assist young Bahamians and residents to choose careers that address sustainability directly,” said One Eleuthera Foundation Chairman Mr. Alfred Sears, Q.C. “This will be done through the sharing of our respective facilities, resources and faculty. It is anticipated that, through the sharing and the joint development of programmes, courses and indigenous curricula, we will each realize increased capacity to contribute in new and creative ways to the country’s development.”
Mr. Sears, who is the former chair of the Council of the College of The Bahamas that led the institution’s transition to university status, further noted that having established an effective tertiary institution, development foundation and network of partnerships in Eleuthera, One Eleuthera Foundation is poised to increase its capacity to better serve the people of Eleuthera and the wider Bahamas via the new partnership with UB.
“One Eleuthera acknowledges that the time is right for new ventures in partnership and shared values in teaching, learning and innovative development in curricula and relevant resources to address issues such as climate change, sea level rise, economic diversification, community empowerment, Bahamian entrepreneurship and cultural industries; there is a critical need for research in all of these areas,” he said. “We must expand funding sources to address these and other development issues. This partnership will increase our capacity to meet this development imperative.”
The collaboration is expected to serve as the catalyst for assisting young Bahamians and Bahamian residents in achieving their tertiary educational goals and will allow for the joint development of programmes, courses, and indigenous curricula as noted by University President Dr. Rodney D. Smith.
“I am especially pleased that this formalization of our relationship with the One Eleuthera Foundation is coming to fruition. We have long been allies in education, especially sustainability education, but this MOU will allow us to merge our resources and engage in new possibilities as partners, for the betterment of the UB community, Eleuthera and the country. I am very excited about what the future holds for us, as we continue to promote sustainable behaviours and sustainability education in The Bahamas,” he said.
Additionally, through the engagement in joint grant writing activities and learning experiences, people from all walks of life will be able to capitalize and maximize on the wide range of opportunities both UB and OEF has to offer.
“UB students and faculty will have even more options and incentives to achieve their educational and training goals,” explained Dr. Maria Oriakhi, Vice President of Academic Affairs at UB. “This MOU further advances the objective of the University to provide education and learning through a variety of patterns, levels and modes of study. It allows the University to foster national development and the opportunity to advance and disseminate knowledge.”
Led by a committed board of directors and staff members, OEF is an organic assembling of different community actors, professionals, and organizations that have recognized Eleuthera’s challenges, opportunities, and assets, and have committed to developing a comprehensive, sustainable plan for that island.