Career & Education

CASE interim president targets university status in five years

Friday, October 13, 2017

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INTERIM President of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) Dr Derrick Deslandes plans to transform the multidisciplinary tertiary institution into a university within the next five years.

He said that, in order to achieve the objective, more research-based academic staff will be hired and new methods and technologies introduced, such as clean plant material to improve farmer productivity; establishment of a tunnel-ventilated chicken house; and improvements to the piggery and to dairy production.

He informed that a proposal has been made to the National Housing Trust (NHT) to create more space for offices, classrooms and dormitories to handle the expected increase in student matriculation. Enrolment has increased by 50 per cent over the last three years.

“We're targeting at least 1,500 residential students over that five-year period in addition to the commuting students. We think we need to get to about 3,000 students for us to be sustainable in the long term,” Dr Deslandes said.

“We want CASE to become a critical player in the (agricultural) sector in terms of research, the production of good graduates as well as driving the production process in critical areas,” he added.

He was speaking to JIS New at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Spanish Town held on October 10 at the Police Officers' Club in St Andrew.

Meanwhile, Dr Deslandes informed that the institution is advanced in its application for a cannabis licence.

“We have one outstanding document that we're trying to finalise (and) to get out of the way, but the process is taking place,” he said.

Dr Deslandes noted that there has been significant interest in the undertaking, including from a Canadian investor, “which wants to partner with CASE as they were doing with the University of Technology and University of the West Indies”.

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