Last night Dr. Luz Longsworth was officially inducted as the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus in Belize. Longsworth has a long history working with the university and it's Belizean installation, and today she spoke to the media about her new position and her plans for the future of the Open Campus...
Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro-Vice-Chancelor - UWi Open Campus Belize
"It certainly is one of the most I would say the most rewarding thing that I've had to do in my Career with the university and of course I know Belizeans will remember me when I was the resident tutor here of the school on continuing studies, but it is the university itself that is moving rapidly. It is the fact that the university is responding to the urgent needs of the region, that we have to change the things that we are doing and that the open campus in particular is going to be the tool, it's going to be the conduit to which the university moves its programs and its research into the region and beyond."
"So me it was an honor, I felt very heartened, it was a heartwarming ceremony to have so many of my Belizeans friends and family present last night. But it is also quite a difficult road ahead as I called it yesterday: I said like doing the Ruta Maya, you are in your canoe and you have to paddle really fast in order to win the race and to keep ahead of the fast moving waters."
"So the possibilities are immense for the university, for Belize and for the region, but we all have to work together in the future to make education much more accessible, much more affordable for more of our people."
"Any initial thoughts you like to see the open campus do under your leadership?"
Dr. Luz Longsworth
"Absolutely, we have to move the numbers of students in higher education rapidly. The university has a goal of additional 20.000 students in the next 5 years. A large number of those will have to be online because you just can't keep building facilities for so many students. But there are other ways too - collaboration with the junior colleges for instance, collaboration with the national university of Belize to jointly offer programs that would help to drive that enrollment. That is the way that we have to work and the open campus is perfectly positioned, because we are in every country. We work in every community. Right here in Belize, we are already linked into the association of tertiary level institutions, we are already working in our communities. So I see it was doable, even though it is a stretch target as say in business, but I think that it is something that we in the campus can really lead for the university."