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UVI Signs Six MOUs with National and International Colleges and Universities

ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) has entered into six Memoranda of Understanding with several institutions of higher learning this year. UVI has signed MOUs with the University of St. Maarten, Philipsburg, St. Maarten; the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica; Fielding Graduate University, California; Nantong University, China; Yangzhou University, Jiangsu, China; and the University of Nebraska At Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska.

Each of the MOUs is unique, but shares a spirit of cooperation and understanding. “The common goal of the MOUs is to enhance the UVI experience, either by having students from other parts of the world in the classroom here at UVI or by having UVI students sit in the classrooms around the world,” says UVI Provost Dr. Camille McKayle. “A 21st-century education needs to be a global education.” She continues, “UVI graduates will find themselves in work environments with people from around the world, actually and virtually. UVI aims to prepare them for that environment by giving them opportunities to see that world so that it is a less daunting place.”

“Through these MOUs we expect that the economic impact of the University on our Caribbean neighbors, in particular, will significantly increase,” said Dr. Haldane Davies, UVI vice president of Business Development and Innovation. “We are committed to giving our students the best opportunities possible for growth, development, and preparedness for the world of work or further study. When we partner with others we increase our collective strength.”

University of St. Maarten
UVI entered into a MOU with the University of St. Maarten (USM) on April 21, to formalize their commitment to collaborate to offer quality career and academic education that will provide students with a solid foundation to enter the workforce.

According to the agreement, UVI will establish an extension campus on USM, which will be called “UVI at USM.” The UVI at USM Campus will offer the same standard of quality education offered on all of UVI’s campuses.

USM will provide classroom and office space for UVI to establish a physical presence in St. Maarten, for purposes of establishing UVI at USM, and for offering regular and cohort driven undergraduate and graduate degree programs for persons unable to attend UVI in the Virgin Islands. Qualified USM faculty will be considered for adjunct faculty roles where sustainable.

In accordance with the agreement, UVI and USM will work to ensure students can transfer or transfer credit to either institution seamlessly. USM will also allow UVI stand-alone recruitment opportunities with USM seniors.

Additionally, both institutions have agreed to engage in joint recruitment activities and students will have the option of joint enrollment in academic programs that will lead to dual degrees in specific programs. UVI will also assist students in planning their education prior to enrolling in courses.

UVI and USM will collaborate on projects and information transfer in several areas, including, educational sciences, alternative energy, entrepreneurship, conservation and fisheries, educational and psychological research, institutional and student learning outcomes and health disparities. The MOU is for a period of five years.

Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica
UVI entered into a MOU with the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) on Jan. 20. CCCJ, an instrumentality of the Government of Jamaica, has jurisdiction over five community colleges and three multidisciplinary colleges with 22 satellite campuses throughout Jamaica.

“The CCCJ is pleased to be entering into a partnership agreement with UVI,” said Dr. Donna Powell Wilson, CCCJ executive director. “The signing of the MOU is the first indication of the coming together of the two institutions to make quality and affordable education accessible to individuals nationally, regionally, and internationally,” she continued, “With this MOU the CCCJ and UVI will be able to share resources, provide professional development opportunities for staff, and engage in research projects.”

The MOU will allow students to transfer between the CCCJ and UVI with ease and measures have been put in place to assist students to excel at either institution after transfer.

The council has agreed to allow UVI stand-alone recruitment opportunities to students in their final year of study and to waive application fees for students pursuing degrees at UVI.

The agreement also allows for CCCJ to provide classroom and office space for UVI to establish a physical presence in Jamaica. The spaces will be used for cohort driven undergraduate and graduate degree programs not offered by CCCJ and for students unable to attend classes on UVI’s campuses.

UVI has agreed to assist CCCJ students in planning for their education, prior to them attending or participating in programs or courses at UVI.

According to the agreement, UVI and CCCJ will collaborate on projects, information and knowledge transfer in many disciplines including, alternative energy, entrepreneurship, conservation and fisheries, disaster management, health disparities and student exchange.

This MOU is for a period of five years. The colleges that CCCJ has jurisdiction over include, Bethlehem Moravian College, Brown’s Town Community College, College of Agriculture, Science and Education; Excelsior Community College; Knox Community College, Montego Bay Community College, Moneague College and Portmore Community College.

Fielding Graduate University
UVI’s MOU with Fielding Graduate University, which was signed on Feb. 27, is intended to establish mutually beneficial collaborations in academic programs, research, the pursuit of grants, continuing education and certificate programs. The general objective of the agreement is to engage in long-term collaboration in fields that are compatible with the orientation and expertise of each institution. The MOU provides for possible collaborations involving a Ph.D. collaborative program in leadership with agreed upon credits transferable from one institution to the other. This collaboration will target, though not exclusively, FGU’s Schools of Human and Organizational Development and Education Leadership for Change. Students will be able to study several concentrations including, academic leadership, political leadership, ecological justice leadership and health leadership.

According to the MOU, other possible collaborations include:

  • Joint courtesy/adjunct faculty appointments to support Ph.D. degree programs at each institution
  • Faculty exchanges
  • Continuing education opportunities on selected topics
  • Faculty development in Competency Based Education and/or Prior Learning Assessments
  • Faculty development and technical support in instructional design
  • Joint research activity in areas of mutual interest and expertise
  • Joint applications for external grants in areas of mutual interest and expertise
  • Possible establishment of a formal center or institute on leadership and diversity to house FGU/UVI activity possibly in conjunction with FGU's Institute for Social Innovation or FGU's new Marie Fielder Center on Democracy, Leadership and Education.
  • Joint marketing and student recruitment domestically and internationally
  • Periodic FGU residencies in the Virgin Islands; UVI residencies in Santa Barbara

The MOU is for three years with an automatic renewal unless terminated.

Nantong University
UVI entered into a MOU with Nantong University on April 2. The agreement stipulates that UVI and Nantong University work together on student exchange, faculty exchange, full-time degree seeking students, research collaborations, and teaching collaborations.

Details on graduate and undergraduate student exchange, where students earn academic credit, will be worked out in a separate MOU.

Through this agreement both institutions will foster the exchange of research faculty and advanced graduate and undergraduate students engaged in scientific and scholarly research. UVI and Nantong have agreed to share equipment time, training; collaborate on research methodologies and host faculty sabbaticals where feasible. The MOU is for a period of five years.

Yangzhou University
UVI, who entered into a MOU with Yangzhou University on April 3, aims to develop cooperative relations in the areas of academic and cultural interchange through mutual assistance in the areas of education and research.

According to the MOU, UVI and YU will:

  • Exchange faculty members and technical staff for teaching and research activities
  • Develop new academic program initiatives
  • Participate in cultural exchange activities
  • Co-host academic conferences
  • Provide opportunities for staff development for both universities by participation in sabbatical leave and other personnel development programs
  • Facilitate student exchange programs

This MOU is for a period of five years.

University of Nebraska at Omaha
UVI entered into a MOU with the University of Nebraska at Omaha on Feb. 24. The MOU establishes a cooperative relationship through mutual assistance in the areas of education and research. Through the agreement, each institution may offer opportunities for activities and programs, such as teaching, research, exchange of faculty and students, and staff development that will foster a collaborative relation.

Programs and activities that may be implemented include, joint educational, cultural and research activities; exchange of faculty members and advanced graduate students for research, lectures, and discussions; participation in seminars and academic meetings; exchange of academic materials and publications; and special short-term academic programs.

This MOU is for a period of five years.

For more information contact the UVI Office of the Provost at 340/693-1200.