A new offshore university for Roseau, but what about Portsmouth?
January 29, 2021, marked 910 days since Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced to the nation that after 40 years, Ross University School of Medicine would be leaving Dominica, greatly impacting the entire country, but more so Portsmouth, the second town.
On the very same 29th day into the new year, Roseau welcomed a new university -the St Nicholas University School of Veterinary Studies- located on the corner of Hillsborough Street and Kings Lane.
As it pertains to the new veterinary university in Roseau, president Golnaz Naderkhani, MD Ph.D., is hoping that her school can restore part of the significant chunk of the island's GDP lost when Ross University School of Medicine packed up and moved to Barbados.
"I understand and acknowledge the experiences that have led to the lack of trust, hurt, the frustration of many Dominicans when it comes to academic institutions," she said. "I am quite aware of the history of various universities that have at some point or continue to call Dominica home.
"St. Nicholas University is a new beginning and here at St. Nicholas, we believe that actions speak much louder than words. To those who are just getting to know us, I encourage you to keep an open mind and in time you will get to know this institution."
The veterinary school was created out of compassion for all living things and driven only by dedication to academic excellence, the official said.
The school officials say it stands on the pillars of quality education, student- centered training, accessibility and affordability, sustainability, being at the heart of the community, personal learning experience, heritage and tradition, and character and morality.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Naderkhani said students from high-risk countries such as the United States, Canada, and other Caribbean islands were not allowed to begin this semester, but will join in September 2021. Therefore, only ten students -all females- will be part of the very first class of students on February 1.
" It took 40 years for Ross university to become the Ross University that you knew... I am not asking for 40 years but give us just a few years to demonstrate the full potential of this institution," Dr. Naderkhani said.