The University of Guyana (UG) is in the process of establishing a Petroleum Department as well as a Food and Nutrition Institute.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ivelaw Griffith said the new facilities are timely since Guyana is becoming an oil producing nation but at the same time, needs to improve its capacity in the traditional economic sector of agriculture.
Professor Griffith announced on the final day of the GIPEX Summit that a study is underway to develop a Department of Petroleum Engineering.
“We have a working group helping to figure out the varying contributing elements to that. What kind of faculty do we need, what will be the curriculum, what are the lab equipment we might need, what are the linkages with industry, who might we have on the advisory board for that department,” he explained.
According to the University’s Vice-Chancellor, as Guyana becomes an oil-producing nation, its students need access to training in all aspects of the industry.
In this regard, Professor Griffith said the University is conducting a gap analysis to determine other areas that need improvement.
“The analysis we’re doing is with a view of the whole university enterprise. What is it we need to do better to prepare in law, what is it needs to be better prepared to do in the social sciences, what is under occupational health, in the medical field, what is it we need to do in nursing. We’re taking a comprehensive approach to the energy venture and adventure,” he stated.
The Vice-Chancellor cautioned that oil and gas should not consume all of the peoples’ energy since Guyana is and will remain an agriculture-based society.
As such, he said efforts are underway to launch a Food and Nutrition Institute on World Food Day on October 16, 2018.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had donated US$30,000 to the University of Guyana to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of the institute.
Meanwhile, Professor Griffith reiterated that the University of Guyana stands ready to play a leading role in the country’s development.