(MENAFN - Caribbean News Now) BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — On Saturday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Adtalem Global Education president and CEO Lisa Wardell joined with dignitaries, business leaders and other community stakeholders for the grand opening of Ross University School of Medicine's (RUSM) new campus in Barbados.
With classes beginning on Monday, the opening program celebrated the start of the semester and a new permanent home for RUSM in Barbados.
'The government and people of Barbados warmly welcome the students, faculty and staff of Ross University to their new home on our island,' Mottley said, while thanking all those persons involved in ensuring that the new campus was completed in a timely fashion. 'We look forward to mutually satisfying interactions between the members of RUSM and the many Barbadians with whom they will come into contact on a daily basis through housing, transportation, commercial or recreational activity.'
The prime minister expressed the hope that the visitors would 'grasp the opportunities to become immersed in our culture.'
Mottley added: 'Barbados' partnership with Adtalem Global Education is indeed a valuable element in this country's thrust to expand its reach in the area of educational tourism.'
'We are excited to launch the next chapter of RUSM's history in strong partnership with the Barbados community,' Wardell said. 'I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister Mottley and her cabinet for their responsive, solutions-oriented, approach to helping ensure a successful RUSM opening in just five months. This experience makes it clear that Barbados is the right place for Adtalem to offer high quality education programs and invest for the future. We look forward to partnering with Prime Minister Mottley as she continues to establish Barbados as a hub for medical education in the region.'
In addition to the build-out of the academic facilities at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, RUSM has also completed construction for a living community for students at The Villages at Coverley. With the help of the Barbados government, RUSM has established a cooperative with local transportation business owners to transport students between Coverley and the campus. To date, the construction projects have provided work for over 1,000 Bajans, and the annual economic impact of RUSM in Barbados is estimated to be between $55-$60 million.
'The ministry of education welcomes Ross and the Adtalem family with open arms to Barbados. We consider it a privilege to have an accredited private medical school join our academic fraternity,' said minister of education, technological and vocational training, Santia Bradshaw. 'While the economic impact may be apparent, their commitment to collaborative research and development alongside our local tertiary institutions aligns with our strategic goal to provide wider access to allied health programs. Ross University School of Medicine will certainly contribute to Barbados moving forward the modernization of community health care; while at the same time, becoming a stronger competitor in the global health care arena. The convergence of this partnership brings excitement and opportunities to which we can look forward with hope and high expectations.'
'At RUSM we are dedicated to the quality of our academic programs, and we are proud to now call ourselves members of the community of Barbados,' said William F. Owen, Jr., RUSM dean and chancellor. 'We look forward to engaging with medical and educational institutions in Barbados and developing deep relationships with the Barbados community.'
Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, RUSM's 14,000 diverse alumni practice medicine throughout North America and across all specialties, including a high percentage of graduates who enter the in-demand field of primary care. RUSM is part of Adtalem's medical and health care education vertical, which also includes American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine on St Maarten, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine on St Kitts, and Chamberlain University, one of the largest providers of nursing education in the United States.