Jan. 26, 2005 Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster, University of Virgin Islands president, will chair the governing board of the Universities Consortium for Small Island States, an international consortium that proposes to use higher education to improve the lives of people living in small island states. According to a press release from the university, the Consortium was launched at a January meeting sponsored by the United Nations in the Republic of Mauritius.
Ragster and Dr. Carlyle Corbin, head of the U.S. Virgin Islands delegation, each addressed the representatives of 40 states and territories on Jan. 14. Small island states share complex challenges compounded by isolation and vulnerabilities to natural disasters, fragile environments and negative external market influences, according to the press release.
This Consortium is a way to help small island developing states build capacity, Ragster said. The Consortium's founding membership includes representatives from the University of the South Pacific, the University of Malta, the University of the West Indies and the University of Mauritius. Each of the universities will consider the creation of modules specific to the needs of small island states, in order to provide students with the courses and skills that can aid in sustainable development. This is a launching. Now the work starts, Ragster said in the release.
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