UG launches master’s degree in strategic development studies

A master’s degree programme in strategic development studies whose curriculum focuses primarily on competence essential for examining policies and practices of the contemporary environment was on Monday, launched at the University of Guyana’s (UG), Institute for Human Resilience, Strategic Security and the Future.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali during giving the keynote address at the launch ceremony on Monday.

The new high-level course adds to five programmes which were introduced at the tertiary institution over the last year.

Keynote Speaker, His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali said a resilient, sustainable and robust national development agenda cannot be established without the understanding of the wider environment.

The Head of State emphasised the need for the nation to be deliberate in its approach to national development, noting that security is only one component of strategic development.

“The use of the word strategic takes development studies into a new realm, it speaks about a strategic approach, it speaks about a strategic level of thinking and about a strategic form of delivering national good,” the President noted.

The programme, he noted, will give learners the opportunity to dive into major studies; understanding what shapes the region, the threats it may encounter, and even opportunities that may be available within region.

US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-ann Lynch, while making remarks at the launch ceremony.

“This programme is about aligning theory with practice, with real life problems and developing the capability of each individual to strategically deal with those challenges and prepare you to understand future challenges by appreciating the evolution of such challenges.”

Further, the Guyanese leader noted that the programme is conceptualised in a regional context and will provide the understanding of agreements between states, and the governing and process of regional institutions, among other meaningful topics. 

“The programme is not meant only for Guyanese. The aim of this programme is for all CARICOM to start with, because all of us must be integrated into the regional agenda.

Only true understanding of what the regional agenda is, that we will be able to integrate and work more deeply in achieving the output of that agenda,” the President added.  

UG’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Paloma Mohamed Martin, explained that the lessons apply research skills of empiricism to generate conceptual, theoretical and practical solutions necessary for national development.

The ceremony also saw remarks fromUS Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah- Ann Lynch. She noted that the new course is not only relevant to the nation’s transformation, but for the region and further afield.

She commended those who were instrumental in creating the curriculum, noting that it will develop the next generation of strategic leaders in Guyana.

“This programme will arm students with the skills they need, not only to analyse policies critical to Guyana’s development, but to apply their newly acquired knowledge to apply particular solutions to complex problems,” the Ambassador said.

Also present at the historic event were Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, M.P, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, M.P, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, M.P, Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag. M.P, and other members of the diplomatic corps.

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