Vice-Chancellor tells entrants they share precious privilege


At UG orientation…
UNIVERSITY of Guyana (UG) welcomed first year students, at an orientation last Friday, with Vice-Chancellor Lawrence Carrington telling them the privilege in which they share is precious because the proportion of this country’s population that can be admitted is limited.
Speaking in the George Walcott Lecture Theatre (GWLT), on the Turkeyen Campus, he said the total number on roll just about exceeds 5,000 in a population of 750,000, a small number by any reference ratio, especially given the pressing developmental demands of society and country.
Professor Carrington said the privilege is all the more precious “because we function in an environment of scarcity.”
He pointed out that fees and loans are the lowest that can be expected for the quality of education and life experience that the student receives at UG.
According to him, a university is a community of scholars devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and, even though some bear titles that attest to previous success in completing programmes, past achievements offer only temporary standing, as the real value is determined by how new futures are created, how scholars renew themselves by research and reflection and how they sustain their contribution to the pool of human knowledge and its pertinent application to reality, a fact which applies to them.

Carrington cautioned that the feeling of euphoria that students have from doing exceptionally well in certifying examinations will buoy them for a while but has to yield to new motivators and he advised students to be self-driven.
To those students who had been out of academic environments for a while, earning a living and supporting dependents, he remarked that they brought a clear understanding of real life application of the learning acquired at the university and may have goals already shaped by work environments and life experiences that have imparted responsibility beyond those of the secondary school graduates.
Carrington alerted the new students that they would find themselves in the same classes and work groups, the 20-year-old and the 40-year- old, the post adolescent and the mature parent, the green and raw with the mellow and silver haired.
Such an environment, he said, would allow students to feed on what each other brought to the table of scholarship, encourage the creation of knowledge and cement rich social bonds that would reform society in productive ways.
Urging students to make use of UG’s Library, Carrington said it has the most varied collection of documents and publications in Guyana.

Noting that it was only about a month since Guyana expanded its Internet connectivity to realistic regional standards, a factor which is conducive to the university advancing its information technology (IT) agenda and stepping away from its fledgling application to its management system, he said UG can now adopt robust and reliable customised systems for student, financial, human resource and library management.
Carrington informed that UG has made a commitment to improving its teaching and learning environment and classrooms and laboratories will be targeted, in terms of space and equipment.
He said the value of a university is difficult to measure in monetary terms, as the value is not determined by the dollars and cents residue at the end of the financial year but the value that it adds to the quality of the life of the citizenry.
UG opened its doors for the new academic year yesterday.