UG’s undergraduates could conduct research – Vice Chancellor

DPI, GUYANA, Monday, February 19, 2018

In a bid to further elevate the profile of the University of Guyana (UG), Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith is touting the participation of undergraduate students in research projects.

Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) recently, Professor Griffith said that a university of substance is not only in the business of teaching but of enabling new knowledge to be created. That new knowledge, he said, is created through research and publishing. The Vice-Chancellor said officials from government and civil society should be able to turn to the university to seek out experts in particular areas. According to him, that is the place where the country’s premier tertiary institute hopes to go through research.

Vice Chancellor, University of Guyana Dr. Ivelaw Griffith.

Back in 2016, the university launched an undergraduate research program, which has seen much success.

“I have seen the power of getting undergraduate students involved in research. The idea is to get students from the first year, not waiting until your third and fourth year to be involved in research,” he told DPI.

Professor Griffith recalled that in April of 2017 at the Tain, Berbice campus, several students presented their research papers. According to the Vice-Chancellor, the question is how to motivate students to become involved in research, and lecturers to publish with their students.

The answer to this, he said, the University has to become affiliated with organisations. It is hoped that students from the University of Guyana could also travel abroad to present their research papers.

“It is not going to be a peer-reviewed A1 scientific journal, but it is setting the stage for them to be comfortable with having research as something that they do and using that research as something they do to move to the other level,” Professor Griffith explained.

That next level could be postgraduate studies or moving into the workforce, but having research capabilities, enhances the student’s research sense of self, while at the same time, elevating the profile of the university, the Vice-Chancellor said.

He disclosed that part of the university’s re-organisation plans in this area will see the establishment of a deanery for graduate studies and research.

Speaking about the recently launched University Press, the Vice-Chancellor said the entity now has a board with a number of overseas-based members and is headed by Professor Ken Danns.

In March of 2017, the university signed an agreement with the Ian Randle publishers out of Jamaica, one of the largest established scholarly publishing house to establish the UG Press. The intent of that, Professor Griffith said, is to enable research and publishing, and create a mechanism.

“The press is part of the project of the renaissance of lifting the credibility of the publication.

The University’s Press is hoping to publish books, journals, monographs and significant lecturers. There are also plans for digital publications, Professor Griffith said.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

 

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