By LEANDRA ROLLE
IN the wake of Hurricane Dorian, Hampton University in Virginia is offering free tuition, room and board to displaced students at the University of The Bahamas’ Northern Campus for the upcoming fall semester.
UB released a statement on Sunday, expressing gratitude for Hampton University’s generous offer while also noting several university presidents have also pledged to offer their assistance in providing relief for UB students.
“Some students have expressed a desire to explore the study abroad offer which has been extended. Yet, many others want to remain to provide emotional support for their families, friends and communities. They are eager to be a part of the healing and rebuilding that will take shape and help reactivate UB-North operations. This is the goal we working to achieve,” UB said.
Hampton University is a historically black institution located in the US, with more than 4,300 students enrolled for the fall semester.
As noted by UB, students interested in studying at Hampton for the upcoming semester would have to follow certain procedures and protocols in ensuring that courses taken abroad are geared toward the completion of their respective degrees.
The statement read: “UB students would need to contact the schools abroad directly and have course descriptions for desired courses evaluated by faculty at UB through the Office of Academic Affairs in conjunction with the respective academic units prior to approval; UB students must have a valid passport; UB students would have to secure I-20 Forms from the institution prior to applying for a US student visa, unless granted a temporary longer stay visitor’s visa from the US Embassy.”
In regard to the restoration of university operations in Grand Bahama, UB noted that steps have already been taken to relocate teaching and administrative and resume classes by the end of September. This initiative is currently being led by Vice President of UB-North Dr Ian Strachan.
When The Tribune visited the UB North Campus last Thursday, Mr Strachan was at the facility, where massive damage was visible.
At the time, Mr Strachan said UB North officials were concerned about employees still unaccounted for following the storm.
He said while it is a “major setback” for UB, officials are determined to resume classes and complete the semester off campus, not only at UB’s downtown centre but by utilising classroom space at other institutions in Freeport.
“Our goal is not to cancel any classes. Our goal is to complete the semester,” he said, adding a meeting was planned to discuss the way forward.
Dr Strachan said some 500 students were enrolled at the campus and school officials were concerned about their welfare.
When asked about rebuilding, Mr Strachan said discussions must take place about a possible relocation of the main campus to Freeport.