During the working conference entitled ‘The academic success of Caribbean students’ that took place last week at the University of Aruba, an ambitious package of specific and structural measures was devised in order to improve the academic success of students in the Caribbean. The outcomes of the conference are being offered under the new name of the ‘Strategic Education Alliance (SEA)’ to the next Ministerial Four-Country Education, Culture and Science Consultation.
The SEA is made up of representatives from the countries of Aruba, the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius), Curaçao, St. Maarten, and the Netherlands and from educational institutions in these countries. For one and a half years they have been working on improving the academic success of Caribbean students, as a significant number of these students fail to complete their studies abroad. The working conference on Aruba was organised to develop specific follow-up steps.
A number of specific and structural measures
The SEA’s motto is ‘A bright future for Caribbean Students’. The SEA believes that making that future a reality requires a joint strategic plan to reinforce the educational infrastructure for students in higher and secondary education in the Caribbean area.
In addition to that, a joint mobility program is required to facilitate mobility within the Kingdom for students at all levels of higher education and the SEA also wants to help students on the islands to be better prepared when it comes to choosing a course. The SEA wants to do this by offering a Pre-Academic Year, but also by using modern resources such as apps and VR headsets. All the recommendations can be found at www.strategiceducationalliance.org.
Long-term cooperation important
The SEA believes that a structural approach and an improvement in the academic success of Caribbean students requires the commitment and involvement of all parties over a number of years. That is why the SEA will be asking the Four-Country Consultation to discuss and endorse this multi-year commitment and the existence of the SEA.
The SEA will also be asking the ministers involved in the Ministerial Four-Country Education, Culture, and Science Consultation to arrange financial support and resources and to ensure that the agreements made are actually implemented.