GFDD Participate in the Dominican Week 2013 – the Discussion Panel on the Impact of Higher Education on the Dominican Republic’s Development

May 16, 2013

On Thursday, May 16, in the framework of Semana Dominicana 2013 (Dominican Week 2013), GFDD and its sister organization FUNGLODE collaborating with APEC University, City University of New York (CUNY), Center for Worker Education and International Studies Program in the City College of New York hosted the discussion panel entitled “Higher education’s impact on the Dominican Republic’s development.”

It was our honor to invite Ligia Amado Melo, Head of the Secretariat for Higher Education, Science and Technology in the Dominican Republic, to deliver a presentation at this important event.

In addition to Dr. Melo, other speakers included Radhamés Mejía, Rector, UNAPEC, Dr. Juan Carlos Mercado, Dean, Center for Worker Education, CCNY, Dr. Jim Miller, Senior Vice-president of the Technological Institute of Rochester and Dr. Mary
Hubbard, Vice-rector of International Education, Utah State University. The panel was moderated by Dr. Ramona Hernández, Director of CUNY-DSI (Dominican Studies Institute) and Dr. Griselda Rodríguez, Director of International Studies Program, CUNY.

This time, the distinguished guests and attendees of the meeting got together with the aim to understand and gauge the direct impact that higher education has on the DR society in order to
promote and support changes that meet the needs of both new economy and society, and interests of all young people and adults.

In her valuable presentation, Dr. Ligia Amada Melo’s illustrated, with numbers and figures, the impact generated by the National and International Scholarships Program (ISP), that was launched in 2005 under President Leonel Fernandez. The program promotes students’ and teachers’ mobility and social networking, and provides access to Masters and PhD programs in the DR and abroad.

By granting
scholarships to complete Masters or PhD degrees, the government seeks to create the exchange of knowledge between Dominican students and their counterparts in other countries. This is certainly a great opportunity for both parties to study at the prestigious university, to enrich knowledge in the field of their expertise and to get a new vision on the world affairs. After completing their studies, students are committed to return to their home countries. Many of them are invited to work at
colleges and universities delivering new teaching methods and sharing lessons that they learned abroad.

The ISP also offers students an opportunity to stay in a foreign country up to 18 months after they obtain their diploma to complement the academic experience with the practical one.

In addition, remarked Dr. Melo, the Secretariat for Higher Education has created an employment stock (Bolsa de Empleo) that paves the path for communications between
young graduates and potential employers. The figures show that 54% of the ISP graduates smoothly enter the Dominican labor market and 21% pursue their postgraduate studies.

The contribution to the panel discussion made by Ligia Amada Melo’s as well as the presentations of other speakers, once again, acknowledged the importance of higher education in the contemporary world both at the national and global levels.

About the Center for Worker Education (CWE)
It was established in 1981 by The City College of The City University of New York in collaboration with public employee unions. The primary mission of theCenter is to provide an excellent education to working adults from New York City and surrounding regions. CWE offers an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree, an early childhood education Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Arts in
the Study of the America””””s and a number of certificate programs.

More information about the scholarship program