The University of The Bahamas (UB) and Elmira College (EC) marked an historic milestone Monday, June 14, 2021, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will allow collaboration on student exchange, research activities and initiatives. Dr. Rodney Smith, UB President, welcomed the “generous” and “noble” partnership-agreement, which goes into effect today and is designed to expedite a full semester Student Exchange/Study Abroad Experience-Program. Participants in the virtual event included Franon Wilson, Bahamian Businessman and Philanthropist, and member of the Board of Trustees at EC; Dr. Charles Lindsay, President, EC; Dr. Maria Oriakhi, Vice-President of Academic Affairs, UB; and Alexandria Thompson, graduate of EC. Dr. Smith said UB remains “steadfast” and “resilient” in its efforts to provide unprecedented opportunities for students despite the global challenges due to COVID-19.
“Students will be offered academic credits from the host Institution toward their respective degrees. Students from both institutions will have the opportunity for international exposure and real life experiences. Students will be exposed to seeing things objectively, enhancing their appreciation for multi-culturalism and diversity.
“Benefits, of course, include opportunities to work and engage with students and professors from different backgrounds. Such experiences help to shape student development as scholars, in preparation for entry into the domestic and global job markets,” said Dr. Smith. Dr. Oriakhi reflected on the role EC played in expanding access to tertiary education to Bahamians before the College of The Bahamas came into existence. She said through this relationship, UB will be able to develop joint programs of
national and global significance in areas where the capacity at UB might be limited.
“In this regard, we make note of Elmira’s programs in special and Language Disability, Actuarial Science, fashion design and merchandising.
“Elmira’s Environmental Studies program might find a lot of synergy with our Small Island Sustainability Initiative; in addition to the opportunity for faculty exchange and faculty engagement in cross cultural research, which could inform policy directions and address universal challenges in such areas of Environmental Studies, Sociology and Anthropology.
“This will enable our students to engage in study abroad experiences at Elmira thereby giving them the opportunity to broaden cross-cultural horizons, to experience a different environment in terms of climate, and examine their roles as global citizens. Similarly, Elmira students and faculty will be able to expand their cross cultural horizons and have the opportunity to examine their roles as global citizens,” added Dr. Oriakhi. Dr. Lindsay remarked that the agreement with UB will enable students to have meaningful experiences and he looks forward to working with the institution to deepen their relationship.
He said Bahamian students have made very meaningful contributions to the school’s campus life and have gone on to become a part of a rich alumni network.
Mr. Wilson expounded on the relationship that exists between EC and The Bahamas.
Ms. Thompson shared her perspective as a graduate of EC. EC is a private, coeducational liberal arts college in Elmira, New York.