University set to make Seychelles global partner


21-April-2009

President Michel welcomes Mr Fox at State House. In the background is Dr Payet


The president of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, James Fox, said this at State House yesterday after meeting President James Michel.

“Here you are in a unique environment in the middle of the Indian Ocean,” he said.
“You are part of a common world, and just as you need to learn about what happens to your ecology here, we in Canada are interested in what you learn. We have a common interest in understanding our environment better.”

Mr Fox worked as an educational adviser to Seychelles’ Ministry of Education from 1982 to 1986 when Mr Michel was the minister, so during their meeting the two talked about developments that have taken place since then, especially in the country’s education.

He said the new university will be an engine for ongoing development, research and knowledge generation.
“I’m here really to provide advice based on our knowledge from other universities in other countries,” he said.

Mr Fox talked of countries in which his bureau has helped to found universities that are now up and running, with many students.

He said Seychelles’ population is not too small to have a university. In his country there is an island province of just 100,000 people that has had its own university for over 100 years.
“That university has been the engine for its social and economic development because of the research it has undertaken,” he said.

“There are many communities of 85,000 that support a university. I know you have a very good polytechnic, but the university will offer more opportunities for more types of careers and connections to Seychellois internationally.

“You are very much part of the international community, and careers are going to be internationalised.”
The chairman of the Seychelles University Foundation, Dr Rolph Payet, said links with the Canadian bureau are important because, for example, Canada is bilingual and it is important for us to exchange information on that aspect since Seychelles is trilingual.

He said the bureau is also keen to develop an interest in maritime studies. As a university on an island, ours will be unique in its own ways, and this will generate interest in other universities that will form a partnership with the University of Seychelles.

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