In attendance was the Minister of Education, District Administration and Lands, the Honorable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who shared her vision for a new UCCI campus.
Also present was the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. Gilbert McLean, alongside fellow board members, Mr. Carson Ebanks and Dr. Gayle Woods plus representatives from Public Works, HSA, the Layman E. Scott High School, and many local businesses.
The University College of the Cayman Islands serves the communities of Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac and has a growing footprint in the Brac. Serving students from the ages of 16 to 65+, UCCI is dedicated to enhancing the educational opportunities there. With the support of the Minister of Education, UCCI commits to working with businesses, community members, stakeholders, and the school to bring a greater offer to Cayman Brac.
UCCI currently offers in the Brac a full-time dual enrolment programme for students from the Layman E. Scott High School and both daytime and evening part time courses for people of all ages, in areas as diverse as tourism and construction.
The news of expansion coincided with an announcement from the Minister of Education, the Honorable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly that the PACT Government is still committed to providing a free education to Caymanians. The Minister also highlighted her plans for the University to move into the Layman E. Scott campus over the next few years once the High School moves up to its new location on the bluff. It is expected that an expanded facility would provide many synergies and enable the delivery of much needed workforce skills training on Cayman Brac, including training in conjunction with neighboring Public Works department.
Mr. Gilbert McLean, Board Chairman of UCCI’s Board of Governors, confirmed the support of the University for an enhanced presence in the Brac and committed the efforts of the Board in delivering the Minister’s vision.
Dr. Robert W. Robertson, President, and Chief Executive Officer of UCCI, commented: “UCCI is strongly committed to offering educational pathways to the whole Cayman Brac community. We recognize that there is a lot of talent on the island and many people who wish to progress in their careers and lives. As the Minister rightly said, vocational trade skills are hugely in demand in the Brac. A shortage of plumbers, electricians and more, are areas of need that UCCI has a duty to fill. We will shortly be introducing robust, accredited trade qualifications so that the Cayman Brac community can upskill and gain skills that will provide them with a good living wage for their entire lives.
“UCCI was recently recognized by the National Center for Construction Education and Skills (NCCER) as an accredited provider of vocational skills training. These short stackable qualifications will be introduced to Cayman Brac to help meet industry needs. 2023 is shaping up to be a very positive year for UCCI.”
Shavon Bodden, Deputy Registrar at UCCI’s Cayman Brac campus, commented, “We were thrilled to host a community meet and greet and it was great to see so many of our instructors, students and community leaders attend on the day. UCCI has unlimited potential to enhance the lives of people on Cayman Brac and we will continue to work with business leaders and members of our community to bring a world-class education to the island.
“Improvements are about to begin on our computer labs so that we can offer CISCO courses and other industry recognized IT qualifications from the Brac campus. With the new computers and high-speed internet, we can start to make some great changes to the education on offer in Cayman Brac.”