The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) and The College of The Bahamas (COB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the BTC Scholars Programme to the value of $250,000 over a five year period, to provide higher education for academically qualified, but financially challenged, COB students.
Geoff Houston BTC CEO said as a major investor and employer in The Bahamas, BTC considers further investment in the education of Bahamians crucial.
“We recognize that a nation’s advancement is through its people. Education is key and BTC, as a major investor and employer in The Bahamas, recognizes that it’s within its best interests to support learning institutions. It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of education to the country – its progress and the raising of the standards of living for those fortunate enough to receive formal tertiary education. We are therefore more than happy to invest in our future and The Bahamas by providing scholarships to academically qualified youngsters, with a special focus on public schools from New Providence AND the Family Islands, as these students oftentimes are most challenged with being able to afford a college education.”
BTC has a record of philanthropy which impacts community and, on a larger scale, national development. The company’s contributions to the BTC Scholars Programme at COB will fund the baccalaureate degree programmes for ten students from both New Providence and the Family Islands, beginning Fall 2013. It will also contribute $10,000 annually to The University Endowment established to fund the paramount needs of the institution. This is the kind of public and private sector partnership that will be necessary to extend access to tertiary level education to Bahamians throughout the country.
President of COB Dr. Betsy Vogel-Boze commended the company’s record of philanthropy and its belief in the transformative power of tertiary education and the University of The Bahamas, which will come into force by 2015.
“This allocation is critical at this point in the College’s history as we endeavor to enhance budgetary efficiencies while engendering financial sustainability. Members of the College community will be able to have projects funded that substantially enhance our end-product in ways that our budgetary constraints cannot ordinarily accommodate. BTC’s gift brings the College one step closer to its own financial independence,” said college president Dr. Vogel-Boze.
Students with a demonstrated financial need, who have successfully graduated from public high schools and are enrolled in a qualifying undergraduate degree programme at The College, are eligible to be considered for the scholarship.
Under the agreement, BTC will contribute $50,000 annually to The College for the next five years, funding that will provide scholarships for ten students to attend The College and soon to be, University of The Bahamas.
The agreement also provides for the company to contribute to the University Endowment established to raise funding in perpetuity for the institution. This is an example of the kind of collaboration with the private sector which COB has been aggressively developing in order to drive financial sustainability.
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) is the leading telecoms operator in The Bahamas. BTC is jointly owned by Cable & Wireless Communications (51%) and the Government of The Bahamas (49%).
By Serena Williams