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Barbados

NSCC in the Caribbean - Day 5

The highlight of the final day was the visit to Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NSCC and this institution. The MOU was signed by Monica Foster, Acting VP Admin at NSCC, and the Anthony Headley, Principal of SJPP. This document formalizes an already successful partnership between our two institutions. This event received significant media coverage in the local newspapers (front page news in next day’s edition) and on TV.

Prior to the MOU signing, Monica presented to senior SJPP officials an overview of NSCC, including recent developments and successes. SJPP hosted a networking lunch for the NSCC team as well as for some of the trade mission participants.

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Mr. Anthony Headley and Monica Foster signing the MOU; this event was witnessed by Dr. Patrick Rowe, Head of Higher Education Unit at the Barbados Ministry of Education.

Looking back at the recent trade mission this was one of the NSCC’s most successful activities in Barbados. We were able to establish many new linkages, as well as strengthen existing partnerships. In discussions with our partners we have identified many potential opportunities for various mutually beneficial activities, such as student and staff exchanges, joint programming, and capacity building initiatives. We look forward to working with our partners on future activities that will enhance international learning for students and staff at NSCC.

Posted by NSCC Intl 10:42 Archived in Barbados Comments (0)

NSCC in the Caribbean - Day 4

Day four of the trade mission started with a meeting at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. This is the only publicly funded medical facility in Barbados. The NSCC team met with the CEO of QEH, as well with the Heads of the Nursing and the HR Departments. During the meeting a number of capacity building issues were discussed and various potential training activities have been identified. As a result of this successful discussion a follow-up meeting with QEH officials has been scheduled.

Our next meeting was at the Ministry of Community Development & Culture. Our colleagues from Barbados expressed strong interest in programs related to music and music business. Despite many talented artists in this field, music is still considered by local society a past time and not as a potential profession.

Due to a large number of meetings scheduled for the rest of the day, our team divided into two groups in the afternoon. Two members of our group participated in a couple of meetings with senior officials at the Barbados Community College (BCC). NSCC has a very good relationship with BCCC and these meetings provided an opportunity to continue discussions around future partnership activities.

The rest of our group met with the Senior Trade Commissioner at the High Commission of Canada. The staff of the Trade Section at the High Commission has been very supportive of our past and current activities in the Caribbean. A big thank you to all of our colleagues at the High Commission. The purpose of this meeting was to brief the new Senior Trade Commissioner on some of our recent actvities and successes in the Caribbean.

This day ended with a dinner for all trade mission participants as well as the Canadian High Commissioner in Barbados and most of the staff from the Trade Section of the High Commission.

Posted by NSCC Intl 10:36 Archived in Barbados Comments (0)

NSCC in the Caribbean - Day 3

Today we met with three senior staff from the Ministry of Labour, who provided background on OH&S, and their vision and plans to develop strong labour practices in Barbados. Monica and Zoran then went back to the Ministry of Education for a further meeting with the Director of Higher Education. Sandra and I returned to the CDB. Both those meetings were great. We also met with folks from CIDA, and ended the day at the Barbados Community College. We met with people from their Industry Services Unit, which focuses on assisting industry in Barbados. We will be returning to BCC this week.

What I'm learning is how important relationships are to doing business in the Caribbean. At almost every meeting we've attended, followup meetings were organized, and to return to two agencies in the space of two days is a positive sign.

What I've also experienced is some very complicated and skillful project management. There are over 250 meetings planned this week for the eleven delegates, in several countries in the Caribbean, with a variety of drivers, as the meetings are all over the capital city, and some delegates are travelling to other countries. Each night the organizers present us with a spreadsheet that has been updated constantly as meetings are added, locations and times changed. They have done a remarkable job.

Posted by NSCC Intl 07:14 Archived in Barbados Comments (0)

NSCC in the Caribbean - Day 2

The morning started with a meeting of many delegates of the Trade Mission team with the Division Chief of the Caribbean Development Bank. The CDB is the leading catalyst for development resources in the Caribbean, so it is critical to understand their mandate and their procurement process for engaging consultants for projects that we would want to bid on. This was followed by a meeting with the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, who provided an overview of the issues and plans for Health, specifically for the one hospital in Barbados. As this is my first time in the Caribbean, and first time learning about funding and international projects, there is a huge amount to take in. On top of that, the government introduced a new budget yesterday. As the Senator said, it is a very dynamic time for Barbados.

NSCC went "speed dating" all Tuesday afternoon. As a way to save time for all, we met with eight local companies in one room in the space of four hours. It was an excellent way to connect with potential local partners for projects. The quality of people we met with was very high, and it was fascinating to see the flexibility of these small companies, who typically work in several countries in the Caribbean.

Posted by NSCC Intl 07:06 Archived in Barbados Comments (0)

NSCC in the Caribbean (Nov 22 - 26/10)

Day 1 - Trade Mission to Barbados

This week a delegation from Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is participating in a trade mission to Barbados. Sandra MacDonald-Clahane and Mary McKeough, both from Business Development, as well as Zoran Kondali from NSCC International are representing the College. The purpose of the mission is to build new linkages as well as to strengthen existing partnerships with education institutions, government ministries and other stakeholders in various sectors.

Some units at NSCC have a long relationship with the Caribbean region that dates back to the 80s and 90s. As of two years ago, our College has adopted a strategic approach in developing partnership relationships that will lead to student and staff exchanges, joint programs, business development initiatives and other exciting opportunities. As a result of these recent activities, we have been successful in accessing several Government of Canada funded scholarships that have allowed us to welcome student from the Caribbean at NSCC. We have currently 3 students from Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (2 in the Tourism Program at Akerley Campus and one student in the IT Program at Truro Campus) and 1 student from the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (also at the IT Program in Truro).

Today was the first official day of the trade mission and we started off with an 8 am briefing at the local High Commission of Canada. The briefing was facilitated by various senior staff of the HC who provided us with a comprehensive overview of Barbados and its different sectors. We are very lucky to have the support of an excellent HC team in this country.

The day continued with meetings at the local Paramedical Association, the Ministry of Education and the local office of the Inter-American Development Bank. All the meetings have been very productive and have allowed us to gain a better understanding of the needs of the local industry as well as of the education sector. Our day here ends with a daily debriefing and planning session that allows all trade mission participants to reflect on their meetings, as well as to finalize the meeting agenda for the next day.

Tomorrow’s agenda includes meetings with representatives of the Caribbean Development Bank, as well as the Ministry of Health. In the afternoon we will be meeting with a number of local consultants with expertise in the education sector. We are also very excited about the fact that our Acting Vice President Administration, Monica Foster, will be able to join us in Barbados tomorrow afternoon. Monica’s presence and participation in the meetings will be a strong illustration of NSCC’s commitment to partnership engagement in Barbados. Monica will also sign on behalf of the College a Memorandum of Understanding with Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and we look forward to formalizing an already successful relationship with this partner institution.

I would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency, Nova Scotia Business Inc. and EduNova, all of whom have made this trade mission possible. Also, a big thank you to Stew Hattie and Paula MacKinnon, two consultants from Nova Scotia who have arranged and organized all our meetings. Thank you all for your support and assistance.

Zoran Kondali

Posted by NSCC Intl 13:31 Archived in Barbados Comments (0)

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