October 20, 2020

More details of CEC’s “super uni”

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Hilary McKenzie-Cahill, CEC vice president of marketing and development

More details about Cayman Enterprise City’s “super university”, set to offer education and human resource development for as many as 500 students, including scholarship-funded Caymanians, have emerged.

The school will be among the six “industries” in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) created by Cayman Enterprise City (CEC), set for a preliminary March groundbreaking on 45 acres in Savannah, followed by two years of earnest construction starting in late June.

The International Academic Park will offer degrees and training to help fill the 5,000 jobs expected as part of the SEZ.

“We are developing it with the Ministry of Education,” said Hilary McKenzie-Cahill, CEC vice president of marketing and development. “It will not come until a little later, in phase three, which may be five years away.

“It’s in its early stages. We have much work to do with the Ministry and talks with local existing universities,” she said.

She declined to name the “five or six major universities in one building” that will form the “super university; offering courses not currently available in Cayman,” but said it would be based on a similar concept, to the Knowledge Village, in the Middle East’s Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, created by CEC founder Jason Blick on 300 million square feet in 1999.

The Knowledge Village, renamed the Dubai International Academic City in 2010, boasts 27 schools, drawn from around the world and encompassing universities, training institutes and human resources institutions.

Dubai’s French Fashion University

Among them are America’s University of Phoenix, Michigan State University and Hult International Business School; Canada’s International College; Australia’s University of Wollongong, Murdoch University, the SAE Institute and Cambridge College; the UK’s University of Exeter, University of Bradford, Middlesex University, Manchester Business School and Heriot-Watt University; Europe’s St Petersburg University in Russia, the French Fashion University and Brussels’ European University College; India’s Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Manipal IUniversity and Amity University; and Tehran’s Islamic Azad University and Lebanon’s University of St Joseph Law School.

Ms McKenzie-Cahill said the super university would offer scholarships to Caymanians, upgrading individual skills and professionalism, “through a Career Development Bureau in which every job and every resume are properly matched”.

“We are working with” both the International College of the Cayman Islands and UCCI, Ms McKenzie-Cahill said, pointing to a meeting just last week with ICCI administrators.

CEC’s “business passport” concept could ease creation of the super school.

Businesses already established in the Dubai zone, she explained, would not have to recreate the paperwork associated with qualifying for a place in Cayman’s SEZ, pointing to credentials already accepted by a common governing authoritiy.

Manchester Business School

“Clients will be able to establish schools in CEC and in Dubai,” she said, expecting the plan would “spur development by working with government and local law firms.”

Knowledge Village also includes recruitment agencies, an international food court, sports fields, medical services a pharmacy, printing, travel services and a gym, although Ms McKenzie-Cahill pointed to September’s SEZ Law, forbidding CEC businesses from competing with local enterprises, although, she said, Cayman operators were welcome to open in the zone.

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