A first for the Seychelles

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Study programmes offered through the University of London External System are being taught at the newly founded University of Seychelles, which opened its doors to the first cohort of students on Thursday, 17 September 2009.

Sir Graeme Davies, Vice-Chancellor, University of London

Study programmes offered through the University of London External System are being taught at the newly founded University of Seychelles, which opened its doors to the first cohort of students on Thursday, 17 September 2009.

The University, the first independent, non-profit making higher education institution in the Seychelles, was formally established at a special Statehouse ceremony, which was attended by the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. James Michel. The ceremony included an exchange of formal documents between the Minister of Education, Mr. Bernard Shamlay, and the Chairman of Seychelles University Foundation, Dr. Rolph Payet.

President Michel was named the Chancellor of the University, and Dr. Payet named as the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University.

President Michel said: "History shows that all Seychellois have had to travel abroad to obtain a University education. Now, the demand for higher education and the value of generating knowledge and securing a comparative advantage in the global market, has called for the development of a University in the Seychelles."

Dr Payet added: "Our long term aim is to offer a much wider range of qualifications in order to make education more accessible. In addition to the degree programmes, we are also offering a Foundation Studies Programme, which once completed successfully, will provide students with the required entry criteria to some of the undergraduate study programmes. The initial programmes being offered at the University are in the field of Business Administration, and Computing and Information Systems. However, the expansion of the University will see further programmes being added to the suite on offer."

Sir Graeme Davies, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, has been appointed as a Member of the Board of the University of Seychelles. Speaking of his appointment, Sir Graeme said he was delighted to be associated with the new found University of Seychelles. He added: "I have been impressed by the commitment and dedication of all those involved in its establishment and therefore feel confident that it will develop so as to serve the region well in providing access to quality higher education for all who seek to improve their academic and professional skills."

Notes for editors

The University of London External System

  • The University of London was established in 1836 and is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the United Kingdom.
  • The University's founding principle is to provide education for all, irrespective of race, creed or political belief.
  • In 1858, the University of London was granted its fourth Charter, which paved the way for the establishment of the University of London External System.
  • The University of London External System is a unique global network of 45,000 students in 180 countries, on more than 100 study programmes.
  • The External System has been instrumental in the formation of British higher education - all English and Welsh universities founded between 1849 and 1949 offered University of London degrees before obtaining Royal Charters to award their own degrees.
  • Between 1946 -1970, the External System played a significant role in establishing many Commonwealth universities under a unique scheme of 'special relations'.
  • Through the External System higher education was made available to a much wider range of social classes; it pre-empted 20th Century developments in open, flexible and distance learning by more than 100 years.
  • Famous former students and alumni of the External System include six Nobel Prize Winners: Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, Professor Ronald Coase, Wole Soyinka, Derek Walcott, ex-President Nelson Mandela and joint winner Dr Rolph Payet, who has now been appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Seychelles.

For further information contact:

Binda Rai
Head of Global Media and PR
University of London External System
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7862 8545 (office)
07920 476483 (mobile)

Peter Quinn
Senior Communications Manager
Tel: +44 (0)20 7664 5584 (office)

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