The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Vieux Fort South, Dr Kenny D. An­thony, says many of his con­stituents are con­cerned about the fu­ture of In­ter­na­tional Amer­i­can Univer­sity Col­lege of Medicine (IAU) in Vieux Fort South.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr An­thony, “Of late, sev­eral home own­ers who rent their prop­er­ties to stu­dents at­tend­ing IAU are con­cerned about the fu­ture of their prop­er­ties be­cause of the on­go­ing is­sues re­gard­ing the ac­cred­i­ta­tion of the in­sti­tu­tion. Some are fear­ful that their in­vest­ments in build­ing apart­ments and ren­o­vat­ing their homes to ac­com­mo­date for­eign stu­dents will suf­fer be­cause of the un­cer­tainty re­gard­ing the ac­cred­i­ta­tion sta­tus of the in­sti­tu­tion.”

Dr An­thony elab­o­rated, “I am also deeply con­cerned. In early Au­gust I wrote to the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion for a meet­ing some­time af­ter Au­gust 22nd, 2017 to get clar­i­fi­ca­tion from her of the na­ture of the ac­cred­i­ta­tion is­sues fac­ing IAU and other in­sti­tu­tions op­er­at­ing in Saint Lu­cia. I am aware she at­tempted to calm fears by sug­gest­ing that the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion is work­ing to re­solve the is­sues. To date noth­ing sig­nif­i­cant has hap­pened and it ap­pears that IAU is haem­or­rhag­ing. I am yet to get a re­sponse to my let­ter.”

Added Dr An­thony, “It is vi­tal that the is­sues of ac­cred­i­ta­tion are quickly re­solved as un­cer­tainty over the fu­ture of th­ese in­sti­tu­tions could cause in­cal­cu­la­ble dam­age to in­vest­ments in this sec­tor. I had looked for­ward to the ex­pan­sion of th­ese in­sti­tu­tions in Vieux Fort par­tic­u­larly as the for­mer gov­ern­ment had en­acted an in­cen­tives regime for th­ese in­sti­tu­tions op­er­at­ing in Saint Lu­cia and had de­clared Vieux Fort a ‘Univer­sity Town'. As soon as I have a clearer picture, I plan to meet the home­own­ers to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion.”

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