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House: Bermuda College report

Education minister Diallo Rabain (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, tabled the 2017-2018 annual report of Bermuda College in the House of Assembly this morning.

Mr Rabain said:

This morning I am pleased to rise before this Honourable House to table the 2017-2018 Annual Report of Bermuda College as required under Section 8 (2) of the Bermuda College Act (1974). Under the authority of the Act, the Bermuda College Board of Governors provides general management and administrative leadership to the College. The president and staff of the College are responsible for bringing the goals, direction and approved policies of the Board into action. These undertakings are reflected in the annual report and will be supported by the 2017-2018 audited financial statements, once completed by the Office of the Auditor-General; and which will be tabled at a later date. The Office of the Auditor-General is currently working on the 2016-2017 statements.

This has been a year of achievement and transition for the Bermuda College. Its ten-year Strategic Plan concluded with a number of accomplishments: including its institutional accreditation, the establishment of partnerships to provide baccalaureate and graduate degree programmes in business and education; partnerships with institutions in the United Kingdom; the establishment of the nursing programme; expansion of the dual enrolment programme; and an upgrade to its technology and facilities to name a few.

Bermuda College anticipates continued success as it looks towards the next five years under the guidance of its Board. Certainly, global changes in technology, emergent industries, access to more learning options, and new student groups require that the College continues to evolve and transition proactively, to this new landscape of pioneering change. In this vein, preparation for a new five-year Strategic Plan (Vision 2023) began in earnest last October.

As critical as this adaptation is, for the College to meet these new opportunities, it is equally critical that as a country we assist in providing Bermudian students equal access to higher learning opportunities and career success whenever possible. No student should be denied access because of lack of financial resources. The Government Grant of $300,000 instituted last summer, proved to be a game-changer for many students to begin or continue pursuit of higher education with one hundred and eight-nine (189) students assisted in the Fall semester and one hundred and twenty-four (124) assisted in the Spring semester.

The College recorded an increase in male students, directly related to the presence of dual-enrolled students in the Certificate in Applied Science programme housed at the Technical Education Centre, which saw its enrolment increase from 21 to 41 in Fall 2017 as a result of the second cohort of students joining the programme. It also saw a record number of graduates as a result of increases in graduate numbers from business and hospitality programmes. During its 2017 Commencement the College graduated the first dual enrolment student from the Culinary Arts programme, and the first cohort of students from Miami University’s Masters in Special Education programme offered through Bermuda College.

The College continues to seek to diversify its revenue and seek out independent revenue streams so that it will not be so reliant on government funding. During this past year, final preparations for the establishment of the Bermuda College Foundation continued with the approval of a Memorandum of Association for the incorporation of the Foundation as a company limited by guarantee, along with draft by-laws.

In response to the high demand for healthcare professionals globally and here in Bermuda, the Bermuda College established a new Division of Nursing and Allied Health at the College during this past year. The first new associate degree programme in the Division, will be the Associate in Pre-Health Science, which is expected to be on offer for Fall 2019.

Student success underscores all pedagogical strategies and initiatives at the College. Student success stories were many and varied. The College’s first nursing graduate of the Associate in Science (Nursing) programme, Ms Josephine Bean, RN, is now working in the Post-Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU) of the hospital. Two other nursing graduates, Janai Caldwell and Waleed Lightbourne are continuing their undergraduate studies towards their Bachelors of Science in Psychiatric Nursing at the University of Northampton in the UK on full scholarships from the Bermuda Hospitals Board.

Culinary arts students were featured on the popular BBC world News Travel Show; and applied technology students hosted a series of “Walk-in Wednesday” public presentations to showcase their projects that ranged from network security to App Development. Environmental Science students participated in a Greenrock project, earning one student, KyAsia Scott-Fishenden top prize and a trip to Portugal to attend a Unesco conference on sustainable education. Students in the Literary Analysis class participated in a writing project with the Westgate Correctional Facility and fourteen students were sponsored to attend the Insurance Linked Securities Convergence conference.

Such is the calibre of learning and instruction at Bermuda College that continues to make it a very relevant institution for our students and our community.

Bermuda College continues to establish partnerships with overseas institutions to ensure that its graduates are able to seamlessly transfer into the 3rd year of a 4-year degree programme. This year saw many agreements renewed and expanded, while new agreements were established with University of Northampton and Walden University. The College also published its third volume of Voices in Education Journal with the theme Educational Sustainability: Cultural, Economic, and Environmental. It also hosted two academic lectures during the year entitled: “Debunking the Myths Association with Cannabis: An Academic Perspective”; and “There’s Hope! Saving Breasts and Surviving Breast Cancer”.

This is just an extract of the highlights Bermuda College experienced during this past year. I invite this Honourable House to read through the annual report for details of Bermuda College’s accomplishments and successes for the 2017-2018 reporting period. In closing, I want to commend the hard work and commitment of the executive, administration, faculty and staff at Bermuda College, all of whom contribute to the individual and collective success stories of our students, and indeed, the institution itself. Thank you Mr. Speaker

For a PDF of Diallo Rabain’s statement, click under “Related Media”