Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron V. Walwyn shared his vision and plans for the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College at the 2015 graduation exercise that was held on 11 June.
Hon. Walwyn stated: “We envision the HLSCC, through the Financial Services Institute, being marketed as the premier knowledge centre for the financial services industry in this hemisphere. We have built a tremendous industry over the years and we must continue to build on this foundation.”
The Education Minister announced that the College, and by extension the Territory, has an opportunity to become stronger and be seen as the experts well beyond these shores. “We must therefore make the changes and do all we can to make this a reality. We must make the hard decisions for this economic pillar to thrive and be successful,” the Minister stated.
“I will remain persistent in my requests for the Financial Services Programme, the Centre for Marine Studies and the Culinary Programme at this institution to be further developed so that they become the flagship programmes for marketing this institution to the region and the world. Over the next four years, I look forward to much more emphasis being placed on these subjects so that they can be aggressively marketed outside of the Virgin Islands,” he added.
Hon. Walwyn explained that the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College can be seen as a place of ideas. In fact, he said that the College must become the first stop for advice in certain areas of expertise in the Territory. “This is also an opportunity for the college to raise revenue along with the funds it receives from Government. When businesses in the tourism, marine or financial services sectors are thinking of training programmes for their staff, HLSCC must become their first option.”
“We must be ready to position ourselves to become sought after, not only locally but in the region, and indeed internationally for learning and research. In order to raise the profile of the institution, staff must not only be involved in academia but also in research, in the creation of new knowledge which will be important to the development of the Territory.”
Minister Walwyn noted that as the Territory builds closer ties with regional institutions and those farther afield, HLSCC will become even stronger and the skills of the faculty will be enhanced. This will allow the institution to offer much more to students, especially those who find it difficult to leave home.
“This institution has enriched the lives of many in this Territory who might not have otherwise had the opportunity for higher education. And we must continuously seek to ensure that for the next 25 and 50 years, this college remains a viable opportunity for the people of the Virgin Islands to enhance our lives through education. So it remains important that as educational practices evolve, as our economy changes, and as the needs of our community also change, so too must H. Lavity Stoutt Community College,” Hon. Walwyn noted.