Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said he is confident that his government will secure an investor or investors to fill the void created by the departure of Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) from Dominica.
According to state-owned DBS radio, Skerrit said “very soon” the matter will be made public.
Earlier this month Ross announced that it will be shutting down its operation in Dominica and will be operating in Barbados from January 2019.
RUSM was located in Portsmouth and was a huge source of income for the island’s second town for the past 40 years.
“From the government perspective, this is not going to be an internal matter because we are confident and I am confident, as Prime Minister, that we will have an investor that will be able to fill the void created by Ross University,” he said. “I am hoping that very soon we will be able to articulate that particular matter to the Dominican population.”
He continued, “In every disappointment, it is said that there is a blessing in disguise. We have to work towards it and ensure that we can have a replacement.”
Skerrit explained that the entire campus, 27 acres, belong to the state and “so we are putting a mechanism in place to get the properties handed over to the state and very soon from now Ross is doing some repairs to the buildings. I hoping that we can meet with them this week to finalize this.”
“This is one matter that has to be brought to the public’s attention that the entire campus legally belongs to the people of Dominica,” he stated.
Skerrit mentioned also that his government has written to Ross University on this matter to draw to their attention about that legal fact.
“I am hoping that very soon they can hand over this property to the people of Dominica,” he stated. “It’s in its early days still but I am confident, we will get an investor who will be interested or a group of investors who will be interested in investing in a particular area.”
He made it clear that the problem of Ross’ departure is a short-term challenge.
“This is not going to be a medium-term or a long-term challenge,” Skerrit stated.
In 2014, the Malaysian-based Limkokwing University published an article on its website saying it has signed an MOU with Dominica to establish an international campus of the university on the island.
The article said both Dominica and the university, “aspire to create a new kind of campus which will be a unique and cutting-edge University campus specializing in travel, tourism and hospitality management and other disciplines that will contribute greatly to the ongoing social and economic transformation of Dominica.”
The article said the MOU was signed by a delegation headed by Emmanuel Nanthan with Dato’ Gail Phung, Limkokwing University’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development.
Since that article was published, no more information has been forthcoming on that matter.