University of The Bahamas was chartered on 10 November 2016 by an Act of Parliament of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. UB had its genesis in the College of The Bahamas which came into effect in 1974 through the amalgamation of four institutions: The Bahamas Teachers’ College, San Salvador Teachers’ College, C.R. Walker Technical College and the sixth form programme of the Government High School.
In February 1977, when the Rt. Hon. Lynden O. Pindling, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, officially opened the College, he foreshadowed that the institution would eventually become the University of The Bahamas: And after all of this, what will we have? Ten years from now we will have developed the University of The Bahamas….and the College of The Bahamas will have given way to the University of The Bahamas. With these words, the creation of the University was inevitable.
Expansion in Infrastructure
Over the years, the institution has developed and improved its physical infrastructure. In 2008 the Wellness Centre was opened on the Oakes Field Campus at a total cost of $925,000. The Michael H. Eldon Complex on Thompson Boulevard became the first corporate asset. To ensure the continued development of its graduate programmes, former Council Chairman Franklyn Wilson and his wife Sharon donated $1 million towards the creation of the F.R. Wilson Graduate Business Centre. Additional funding for this Centre was provided by the Bahamas Government and a $1 million donation by the Royal Bank of Canada. Generous donations from Harry C. Moore, the Lyford Cay Foundation and the Government of The Bahamas funded the $28 million Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre, which was opened on 8 April 2011.
The new Northern Bahamas Campus in East Grand Bahama, located on 50-acres generously gifted by the Grand Bahama Port Authority, was officially opened on 12 May 2011. At the Oakes Field Campus, the former auditorium was reconstructed into a 400-seat air-conditioned facility at an investment of some $3.3 million; a specialized pharmacy laboratory, including an organic chemistry lab, was renovated at an estimated $1.6 million; and the G.T.R. Campbell Small Island Sustainability Complex, thanks to a generous donation of $10 million from the Freedom Foundation, is under construction. The University’s Oakes Field profile has also been greatly enhanced by the construction a new formal entrance, complete with electronic message boards.
Growing Research Capacity
In 1992, the Research Unit was established to facilitate the systematic development of a research capacity. In 1995, the institution, along with the Ministry of Education and the Virginia based George Mason University, established the Bahamas Environmental Research Centre (BERC) in Central Andros to conduct research on coastal ecology, estuarine ecology and creek restoration and creek monitoring for grouper and lobster larvae. Further, in 1996 the College assumed responsibility for the Gerace Research Centre, formerly the Bahamian Field Station, in San Salvador. The Centre offers facilities for students, professors and researchers from around the world to study in a tropical environment. Research disciplines have included Archaeology, Biology, Geology and Marine Science.
Determined to build a reputation for research comparable to the outstanding teaching reputation for which it was fast becoming known, the institution’s research work has comprised collaborations with international and regional agencies such as the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the United Nations Educational, Scientiﬁc, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). In the national context, research partners have included government ministries and public and private agencies.
The mission of the University is to advance and expand access to higher education, promote academic freedom, drive national development and build character through teaching, learning, research, scholarship and service.
The University of The Bahamas will be the nation’s primary resource for research & innovation and community engagement. It will meet the educational aspirations of its students and nurture their creativity. It will promote the values of learning, leadership and service.
University of The Bahamas is to:
1.provide education and learning through a variety of patterns, levels and modes of study, and by a diversity of means;
2.promote research and embrace a constantly evolving technological infrastructure consistent with the standard required and expected of a university of the highest standard
3.foster national, regional and international development by embracing technological innovation and advancing and disseminating knowledge
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