ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Senior Vice President for Enrolment Management at the American University of Antigua (AUA) Dick Woodward has suggested that the country has lost out on a major commercial opportunity through the debacle surrounding the AUA Nursing School.
AUA has suspended applications to the Nursing School after being unable to receive accreditation from the Antigua & Barbuda Nursing Council.
“It is unfortunate because the nursing profession has grown immensely and in fact the US government has acknowledged that… We anticipate that had we not had the issues that we had in the certification of our graduates, we would have probably had 50 students by this time in our nursing programme,” Woodward said.
He said the controversy that led to students being unable to receive their licences has hurt the local economy as much as it has the university.
“Our goal was to have 200 students by 2013 that would have meant significant income for the country and the economic stimulus that those nurses would have brought in, we are on hold right now,” Woodward said.
“That’s been a tremendous loss and I think not only for AUA but for the economy here in Antigua because I think it is a programme we could have grown,” Woodward added.
However Woodward is optimistic that while the school attempts to sort out accreditation issues at the Nursing School that an on-going expansion at the main medical school will help to offset the revenue loss for the school.
“The influx of American students will certainly offset a lot of that loss from the nursing programme that we’re not continuing presently but it could have been a tremendous add-on had we had the nursing school also,” Woodward said.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)