This dynamic partnership will support education transformation as well as talent and skills development. To launch this partnership, GBC commits C$20,000 in educational bursary funding to be made available to Barbadian students for 2024-25.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley's visit to GBC, along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in October, motivated the college's interest in renewing its partnership with Barbados. Prime Minister Mottley stated, "Our tagline at home is Global Citizens, Bajan Roots." She added, "We recognize that there are opportunities and a mismatch in jobs globally. We need to get as many people as possible capable of getting those jobs, which means preparing them through education. So, thank you (George Brown College)."
Collaboration in education and research
The Minister of Education, Training and Vocational Training in Barbados, the Hon. Kay McConney, states, "The partnership builds on the Government's focus on building economic and social capacity through the development of global citizens with Barbadian roots." The strategic alliance brings together the expertise of GBC, Barbados Community College, and Erdiston Teachers Training College to drive meaningful initiatives that positively benefit students and educators.
The partnership encompasses a multi-faceted collaboration with Barbados Community College in areas such as culinary arts, construction management, fashion and business data analytics — each important to the tourism industry, built economy, and global competitiveness of Barbados.
The collaboration with Erdiston Teachers Training College and GBC will create the opportunity for joint research endeavours focused on play-based and project-based experiential learning. By combining expertise, our institutions aim to contribute to the advancement of teaching and learning, prioritizing creativity and active participation in project-based learning to support the development of competencies for the digital age.
New student Bursary
The partnership sees the establishment of the George Brown College Global Citizenship Bursary. The inaugural bursary will be available to students from Barbados, reflecting the inspiring and innovative new partnership that has been established.
For 2024, the GBC Global Citizenship Bursary will provide support of up to C$10,000 for students from Barbados enrolling in any GBC program meeting the Ministry of Education, Training and Vocational Training eligibility criteria, in co-ordination with GBC.
This bursary will support a deserving student from Barbados in pursuing their education at GBC, either in Canada or at the college's Barbados campus.
A second $10,000 award will be available to eligible students in the first cohort of a program jointly developed amongst the four partners: George Brown College, Barbados Community College, Erdiston Teachers College, and the Ministry of Education, Training and Vocational Training in Barbados.
"This partnership reflects our shared commitment to fostering innovation, excellence, and global collaboration in education," said Dr. Gervan Fearon, President, George Brown College. "We are excited about the possibilities that will arise from combining our strengths with those of our esteemed partners, contributing to increased access and participation in education, and supporting global citizenship, talent and skills development in Barbados."
"There is a worldwide shortage of individuals with the talent and trained skills to work in industries such as the culinary arts and construction," Dr. Fearon added. "This is as important for Canada as it is for Barbados."
The collaboration between GBC, Barbados Community College, Erdiston Teachers Training College, and the Ministry of Education, Training and Vocational Training in Barbados exemplifies the power of international partnerships in shaping future global economic participation through education. This initiative is set to have a lasting impact on students, educators, and the broader community, fostering a culture of creativity, collaboration, and continuous learning.