USM and UNA explore collaboration

POSTED: 03/28/12 11:28 AM

President of the University of St. Martin Annelies van den Assem (3rd from r), Acting Dean of Academics Glen Yeung (r) and Head of the Business Division Erwin Wolthuis (2nd from r) met with a delegation from the University of the Netherlands Antilles recently to explore the possibility of the two institutions collaborating. The UNA delegation consisted of Dean of Social Sciences & Economics Faculty Rudsel Sophia (3rd from l), Program Director BSc Accounting and Controlling Diepak Ganpat (2nd from l), and Program Director Business Administration Guido Rojer Jr (l).

St. Maarten – Officials from the University of St. Martin (USM) and their counterparts from the University of the Netherlands Antilles (UNA) met recently to explore the possibilities of formally collaborating in the near future. Both delegations expressed their optimism after the initial meeting and have agreed to work on realizing the points discussed by Fall 2012 (August/September).
“During the meeting it became evident that both universities have a lot in common and that working together seems the most logical solution to some of the joint problems,” USM President Annelies van den Assem says.
In addition to the President, the USM delegation included Acting Dean of Academics Glen Yeung and Head of the Business Division Erwin Wolthuis. The UNA delegation consisted of Dean of Social Sciences & Economics Faculty Rudsel Sophia, Program Director BSc. Accounting and Controlling Diepak Ganpat, and Program Director Business Administration Guido Rojer Jr.
“The first issue which will be addressed, and which would improve the study possibilities of St. Maarten students considerably is the intended cooperation on offering NVAO accredited bachelor programs in both Business Administration, Accounting and ICT,” Head of USM’s Business Division Erwin Wolthuis says.
While this possibility is being explored UNA would also have to recognize USM’s Associate of Arts in Business degrees and the individual course loads for such. After this recognition, USM graduates will be eligible to enroll in UNA’s bachelor programs and would be able to earn their bachelor’s degree in approximately two to three years. This includes presenting the final thesis. The amount of time to earn a bachelor’s degree will depend on the area of specialization chosen by the background of the candidate.
“This in itself would be a positive step forward. However, the best part would be that UNA would offer these programs at USM and hence creating the possibility where a St. Maarten student would be able to earn an accredited bachelor degree by UNA/USM in St. Maarten,” van den Assem notes.
Parties have pledged to come together within a month to “set the stage that will make this venture a complete success.” They have also expressed their firm intention to make this option possible as of academic year August/September 2012-2013.

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