Incentives For Offshore Schools

THE St. Lucia government has taken a step to make incentives available to offshore educational institutions.

The Offshore Higher Education Licensing and Incentives Bill, passed in the island’s Parliament last week to provide a broad framework for licensing of those institutions, will make granting the incentives possible.

“The bill is the first to provide legislative incentives for higher education institutions in St. Lucia. Many higher education institutions have sought incentives but they could not be given incentives because there was no legislative authority to do so,” Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Labour Dr. Robert Lewis said.

An eight-member board – comprising two representatives from the Ministry of Education, a representative from the Ministry of Finance, two from the Ministry of Health, one from the Ministry of Physical Development, a representative from the Medical and Dental Association and one attorney-at-law, will be established to review licensing and incentives applications.

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony noted that the bill also provides incentives to those who want to invest in dormitory construction.

Meantime, the government has encouraged offshore educational institutions to accredit their programmes.

While licensing is compulsory, accreditation is not.

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