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NCU president pleased with first-generation grads

By Alicia Sutherland
Observer staff reporter
sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, September 10, 2018

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Last month the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) headquartered here graduated 453 students in diverse disciplines and at different educational levels.

According to President Dr Lincoln Edwards, there were many students among the cohort who are the first in their families to have the opportunity and that fuelled an even greater joy for his administration.

“This year in our graduating class we have an amazing 96 persons who are first-generation university graduates in their families and we congratulate them,” he told the audience gathered at the Gymnatorium.

Among that number, Edwards said there were two siblings graduating from the College of Business and Management and that has never happened before.

“This is no small accomplishment. Many mothers and fathers and grandparents and uncles and aunts and spouses and friends have contributed to the success of these graduands. For this we thank all of you for your support,” he said.

Edwards said that NCU was sharing in a revolution where access to tertiary education is no longer just a route that the children of the wealthy can afford.

“For the past 111 years Northern Caribbean University, as a private institution, has shared in a revolution, serving as both the emblem and the engine of the expansion of opportunities for those who have ability but no access,” he said.

Edwards noted that through the RESCUE (Restoring Every Student's Confidence Using Education) campaign that was launched, and the generosity of alumni and friends of NCU, they are providing hope for those who want to achieve tertiary education.

He said that NCU does “usual things, unusually well” as he mentioned some of the other victories.

Edwards said that there was success over the past academic year in intercollegiate netball, basketball and badminton; a best jingle to advertise the Build Jamaica, Buy Jamaica Campaign; success in national debating, including a patois debate competition; there was the achievement of the most outstanding school in the National Science and Technology Fair in the Scientific Research Council tertiary category; and that NCU won for the second consecutive year the Girls in International Communication and Technology competition.

“The crowning achievement this academic year (is) the prestigious International Business Model Competition which was held in Utah, USA. NCU improved from fourth last year to number one (this year). For the first time in its history, the International Business Model Competition has made its way to the Caribbean. No other team in the Caribbean has ever won that trophy and now it resides at NCU,” he said.

The president said that at their very core, universities are about the pursuit of new knowledge, and to underscore the commitment to research, most of the deans at NCU are leading the way in that regard.

He said that areas being tackled include factors affecting the success of micro, small and medium enterprises in Manchester; principles of taxation for non-corporate entities; nutritional components of some grass in central Jamaica; anti-cancer properties of Jamaican herbs; using nanotechnology to find a treatment for sweet yam disease; examining tropical solutions for climate change; best practices in school administration; and social change through the performing arts.

Edwards said that the institution is partnering with the Government to add vocational skills training to its offering.

As the institution now embarks on a new school year, he said that more than 3,000 acceptance letters were sent out to students who have a desire to attend the institution.

“Over 900 of those students have confirmed that they will be attending NCU,” said Edwards at the recent graduation.