UG launches new venture to bolster overseas image

Guyana Chronicle
November 19, 1999

UNIVERSITY of Guyana (UG) and its Department of Government and International Affairs, buoyed by past success, will be broadening the scope of overseas ventures by students.

Towards this objective, UG launched its International Affairs Association (IAA) Tuesday and announced plans to involve a large number of scholars from several disciplines in the exchanges, firstly with neighbours and, later, at the global level.

Making the announcement at a Press briefing the same day, Head of the particular department, Dr Mark Kirton said the aim is to proliferate students' involvement in helping to sensitise the Guyanese society to various contemporary and world issues.

Efforts will be made to develop, as well, a series of outreach activities that would take undergraduates to border and more hinterland areas where they will update the different communities on contemporaneous and internationally significant events critical to Guyana's national interest.

While involving secondary schoolchildren in the thrust, UG hopes to stage of a simulation of the CARICOM Heads of Government conference, Kirton told media personnel at Guyana Television Broadcasting Company (GTV) studio, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.

Ventures of the kind facilitate opportunities for interaction with colleagues and peers to share academic experiences, discuss issues of importance regionally and further afield and contribute fresh perspectives on questions relevant not only to the academic community but the whole country.

Meanwhile, Kirton disclosed that UG will participate in several international general assemblies next year.

He said one such is the Model Organisation of American States (OAS) General Assembly, at which forum the UG delegation excelled in Washington. D.C., last year.

UG has been invited to participate in the Canada 2000 assemblage, the 20th, Kirton said, adding that the engagement in Alberta, from March 27 to 31, is foremost among those to be attended.

Invitations have also been received for Harvard World Model United Nations General Assembly in Greece and the 2000 Americas Model United Nations General Assembly (AMUNGA).

But, to ensure its representation at the different conferences, UG needs support from the general public, including corporate citizens, Kirton said, launching an appeal for assistance in whatever way possible.

Persons wanting to aid the drive can deposit in the new association's Citizens Bank account number 0118018356.

Participation in Canada by 14 students will cost some $2.5M, Kirton disclosed.

UG, for its inaugural presentation at the 19th OAS Model caucus, won the prestigious Edgar Myer Award, as the most outstanding university team.

Kirton said the performance was exemplary, considering the rivalry with universities in Canada, United States, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and several Latin American States, all of which have been taking part on an ongoing basis.

He said it appears as though UG has made a lasting impression on the international community, as, immediately upon the return home of its representatives, Guyana's lone tertiary institution achieved equal distinction at the July AMUNGA in Brasilia, Brazil.

Kirton said, to ensure UG maintains a place ahead of other similar learning centres in the hemisphere and beyond, there is need for its students to be exposed to "solid preparation" which is even more critical in the face of recent criticisms about the low quality of tuition and "other negative vibes."

With Kirton Tuesday were Ms Nalini Narine, Head Delegate to the 19th Model OAS General Assembly last year, Dr Daniel Kumar, Lecturer, Mr Charrandas Persaud, prospective 20th OAS Model delegate and Ms Wendy Hermanstine, UG Public Relations Officer (PRO), who chaired the proceedings.

Kumar agreed the overseas occasions can help develop inter-cultural, debating and inter-personal skills and other experiences not normally gained in the classroom.

Additionally, through that type of exposure, a pool of talents, scholarships and internships could become available to the nation.

Narine recalled her encounter at last year's OAS forum and Persaud promoted his candidature for the next.

A © page from:
Guyana: Land of Six Peoples