Ross University to expand operations in Dominica

The Portsmouth based Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica has announced plans to expand its operations in Dominica.

Tourism Minister Ian Douglas, who is also the parliamentary representative for Portsmouth, told the inauguration of the new Portsmouth Town Council that the University has unveiled a plan that will allow it to accept some 700 students in the next few years.

“Ross University has announced that it will increase their student population on campus right now to about 2,000 students. That is an addition of 700 students in the area. They will be unfolding a five year plan from 2012. We know that Ross University is the economic anchor. It is the axes upon which the economic buoyancy of Portsmouth and the North revolves. The amount of employment and revenue, not only from housing and accommodation of which 90 percent of the landlords are local, but also revenue from the purchase of other services available in Portsmouth,” he said.

Douglas explained that Ross University has shown interest in providing accommodation for the new students.

He said however this matter is being discussed with government.

“They are saying that their attrition rate among first semester is very high and students who come here for one reason or another get home sick and they would like to be able to put all of the first semester students in one environment where they can provide services and usher them into the university life. We are saying that the school has survived here successfully for 30 years and we are the ones who have provided housing,” he explained.

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  1. Dustin
    November 10, 2011

    Ross University should invest in dorms for students… Making them mandatory for first years is a policy that will have to be made by Ross officials for the improvement of the high attrition rate.

    Dominica officials should see this has a positive for them as well. By Ross offering housing it will create competition which will lead to improved living conditions off campus and all these “improvements” and construction of new dorms mean more jobs for others besides landlords. This competition will also help students in creating more of a “you get what you pay for” type of environment.

    Believe me Dominica, Ross students will want/need to live off of campus when they are able and permitted! Medical school is exhausting and time off of campus is quality time no matter how it is spent!!

  2. October 20, 2011

    all we need to do is to upgrade the airport to accept larger aircrafts, we are competing against schools from grenada and antigua too

  3. littleboy
    October 20, 2011

    While this is good news for Dominica, Possie, and the entire north, I am not at liberty to believe anything Ian Douglas says.

    On the other hand sice Ian is the Palrep of the Portsmouth constituency, I really wonder what is his vision for Picard and Ross University on a whole especially where proper road is concerned.

    Ian broke this news with the Portsmouth Town Council and that being the case, should I assume that the Portsmouth Town Council has finally accepted Picard as part of their boundry? I am asking because the PTC would not do anything in the Picard area because they use to say that Picard is not within their boundry and they would not do anything to improvr roads in that area. In fact, many of those streets were named by students based on what they encountered while they were housed there. For example, Moo Cow Ave was so named because students neibours were cows that would always wake them up saying moooooooo. Then we have Banana Trail, Lizard trail, passionfruit trail and so on. If you ask the PTC or Palrep about these streets they would not be able to help you because they don’t know they exist. So now that Ian is trying to take some credit and he is sharing his success with the PTC members, I hope they look beyond the School and look at the environment where the students sleep, drive, and live in. Ross can handle the School but local landlords need help from the Palrep and PTC to improve living condition around Picard.

  4. moi
    October 20, 2011

    The ‘axes’??? LOL

    • Anonymous
      October 20, 2011

      What is the plural of axis?

      • moi
        October 21, 2011

        and is there more than one Ross University in Portsmouth? Axe I axing….

    October 20, 2011

    First of all ROss students dont come to Portsmouth to buy anything. They all stay in Picard to do everything. Picard that is the second town now not Portsmouth. All the shops and stores in Portsmouth so empty, it is discoraging to even open a new business there. SO Ross will make more money under POrtmouth people noses, and THE shops will stay more empty every day till business close down one by one. If u take a drive now to Portsmouth it like a ghost town. Borough Square alone that have a little life. Thank GOD for Bariftar who will make a little entertainment talking shit. LOL…

    • Dominican
      October 20, 2011

      lmfao!!! $700 usd a month is very very cheap. some of these student, get free laundry, free cable, free water, free internet and i’m sure the list goes on. There is no way you could get all this in America for $700 ..that price is a steal!!!

      • me
        October 20, 2011

        that maybe so but for one single room in an apt $700.00 US $1869.00 EC is just wicked

      • Cerberus
        October 20, 2011

        Nor do student landlords in the U.S.A. get duty free concessions or tax holidays. You think a Dominican would/could pay that? Our landlords are just milking the cow with the big udders (…know what I mean Reggie?).

      • DANZIGER
        October 20, 2011

        Dominican: I Understand your comment but its not easywhen someone has a university student. I tell u is when you are in it the hit its very,very hot ok so think twice please thanks.

  6. tom no fool!
    October 20, 2011

    the way to go ross that will be a very good thing for people of portsmouth and the entire country.

  7. hmmm
    October 20, 2011

    I wonder if they’ll be negotiating with the renters in the area to lower their prices. Some of them are wanting to charge the students upwards of $700US a month, which is virtually impossible for most of the students to afford.

    • nite
      October 20, 2011



    • Wait A Minute
      October 20, 2011

      What crap!! What do you know about student housing and costs anyway and who can and can’t afford. This is just part of the ‘jealousy and envy (or black man syndrome)which have been rearing its ugly head in Dominica recently where our very own people cannot stand by and see others succeed Do you know that the cost for the quality of student housing being offered in Picard is FAR LOWER than what obtains elsewhere (even in the US)?? So please just shut up if you haven’t got anything to say!!!!!

      • No
        October 20, 2011

        No, and this is why. MANY of those students there are ALREADY in a massive amount of debt. They’re going to MEDICAL SCHOOL. Some of them are already tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and what the landlords want is outrageous. I actually KNOW PEOPLE who have a $50,000 debt hanging over their shoulders. Medical school is NOT cheap at all.

        You CANNOT tell me that you think that $700US a MONTH is a reasonable price. If you’re already $10K in debt from student loans, $700 a month for rent, plus food and any other bills, is an extremely high amount of money. I know for a FACT that very few students in the States are paying that much money. I know the prices there. They vary anywhere from $300US to $1,000US.

        So you must be very rich if you think a $700 a month rent is reasonable.

      • llit
        October 20, 2011

        @Wait a Minute u need to do some serious research.. dat has nothing to do with black syndrome and all dat crap u talkin about.. $700 us dollars a month for a lil one bedroom apartment is rediculously high.. u talkin about quality housng, i know the apartments are in very good shape but what about the extra stuff like basket ball courts, tenis courts to help students aleviate stress..
        The landlords are just taking advantage of the students thats all.. They have to make a profit but they r seriously overcharging the students and deep down in their hearts they know that!!!

      • Tee
        October 21, 2011

        I am a Ross Student and some of the prices in Picard are more than I’ve ever paid for rent in the US. There is a misconception that we students are loaded but reality is most of us are close to or over $200,000 US in debt by the time we graduate. It would be nice to get cheaper housing in the area but I would prefer this money went to the Dominican community and not to Ross.

  8. tom tom
    October 20, 2011


  9. Greedy landlords
    October 20, 2011

    All those greedy landlords making 15,000 US a month want more. Then they can sit there with a huge pot hole in the street while the Possie council with their meager budget have to get round to fixing it.

    The first year students are basically forced into certain accommodation owned by ex politicians. This accommodation is sub standard and the students get fed up and lonely and isolated.

    Ross of course want that money for themselves and so want to own the first years housing themselves.

    Something in between is best where Ross own some and the local ex politicians are forced to maintain their building and fix their own pot holes.

    Greed then can do some good.

    Ross expanding IS great news though for Possie and the North.

    ‘Bubbles’ better get building more for the faculty.

    • Annoyed
      October 20, 2011

      Do you know that those ‘greedy Landlords’ are some of thde people that pay the most taxes in this country to both inland revenue and recently town council? So therefore I would see it fit that the town council fix the road.

      • Greedy landlords
        October 20, 2011

        LOL they make soooo much money and pay no taxes as they hide it all.

        Some of those buildings have 30 plus apartments … 30 x 700 = a lot of money.

        They need to get civic minded and help out the community not to leech off it.

        Fix them roads. PTC too poor to pay your asses.

      • Cerberus
        October 20, 2011

        If you are liable for much tax, count your blessings. You are one of the few people in Diominica earning enough to qualify for this.

    • Onlooker
      October 20, 2011

      I don’t understand Ian wanting to prevent Ross from housing first year students. This is only for one year and it gives the students a chance to settle down and find a suitable place themselves. Landlords will still benefit because the students will have to find housing after the first year.
      Dominicans are seeming so hungry, including Ian. What he has to realise is that the fact that first year students can remain on campus accomodation is an incentive for the students to come to Dominica in the first place. More students will consider it and that’s why Ross can say at least 700 more students will come – for that very reason. Does he want these students to stay away or wait one year to rip them off!

  10. Papa Way
    October 20, 2011

    The Government has a stronger hand than most of us can visibly see. After 30-years of operation in Dominica the logistics of ‘uppping sticks’ and going somewhere ‘overnight’ doesn’t make much sense for ROSS when the OMS relationship with Dominica has proved so bountiful. Government’s past and present have done reasonably well in resisting ROSS demands for its own student digs and if the present administration can continue to do the same the island may continue to benefit.
    The concessions ROSS currently receive are far more than adequate enough to see us into the future, although it would be nice to see more Dominican student-doctors benefit from this ‘home’ service which is on our doorstep.

    Benefits should trickle-down all the way down. When you consider the calibre of the students having to resort to the services of OMS’s the world over, it shouldn’t be hard to slip in few more homegrown wanna-be doctors. PLUS with the exception of Grenada’s school being a year older than ours, it’s fair to say ROSS in Dominica is by far the most safe and long-standing in the world.

    Let’s continue to milk the ROSS cow, but let’s have a few more locals benefit in terms of education and future healthcare. Collecting more rent from housing is superficial when compared to the long-term health and well-being of our ever reducing population.

    • RubbishNews.Dom
      November 13, 2013

      narrow minded.
      we can’t see the growth potential.. typical west indian.

  11. Malate
    October 20, 2011

    Good news. Hope we don’t spoil it over accommodation.

  12. Steve
    October 20, 2011

    Is Ian saying that Ross will be building Apartments to house the new students? Isn’t this going to be at a disadvantage to the people of Portsmouth? Very soon they will move to housing for full accommodation of the entire faculty staff and students…..

    • Cerberus.
      October 20, 2011

      This still a free country and Ross should enjoy the same rights as the local landlords, who built their appartments with concessions and tax holidays. I don’t begrudge them those benefits but they also accdepted the risks and should be prepared to compete in a free market. Apart from poor infrastructure there is also the question of security and I can well understand Ross’ desire wanting to develop their own campus if only to re-assure and maintain, particularly their first-year intake. As a country, not just Portsmouth apartment owners, we stand to benefit from such a development long term.

  13. Conscious
    October 20, 2011

    A few more things: what is the status of the proposal to establish a state-of-the-art teaching hospital with Ross University? Julius Timothy spoke about this last year. Such a facility will undoubtedly enhance the quality of education and training Ross offers to its students and their overall experience in Dominica.

    What about the Govt cooperating with Ross to establish a department focusing on aging, wellness and environment?

    There are so much which can be added to increase the value of the presence of Ross University on the island. We have only touched the surface with the provision of housing. Let us dilgiently and creatively work to make Portsmouth a truly student city and center for excellence in medicine, carving niches in such fields as wellness and gerentology

  14. Sout Man
    October 20, 2011

    That will be great for Portsmouth and Dominica. Let’s pray for a successful outcome. That’s the kind of economic activity Dominica needs especially at this point in time. Let’s stop the back-stabbing and put the interest of the country first.

  15. Conscious
    October 20, 2011

    We must learn to read between the lines. Ross University is not satisfied that the local private sector is responding sufficiently to make the foreign students feel comfortable in their new environment. The local private sector seems only to be interested in providing housing accommodation, many of which are not aesthetically landscaped. Students need to feel secure. They require recreational facilities and diversified entertainment and dining. Is the business sector responding to these needs? How many landlords provide tennis and basketball courts on their properties? Why can’t a group of business people come together to provide these sporting facilites for the students? Ross is forced to intervene to provide the servcies that Dominicans are not supplying. Furthermore, the local hosts must improve their services. Students rightly expect much higher standards that the mediocrity we offer on a daily basis in this country.

    • Malatete
      October 20, 2011

      Besides, all of Picard smelling after sewage.

    October 19, 2011

    I love when good things are happening in Dominca. I know I am going to get negative points for saying that…but such is life. I want the best and best for Dominica.

    Health Minister Julius Timothy said funds are being sought to build a cancer treatment facility in Dominica that will serve the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

    “Dominica would like to build the cancer treatment center of the OECS and we are seeking assistance in that regard. We are working along with some of the professors from Ross University who are assisting us in preparing for that,” he said at a press conference to launch Cancer Awareness Month.

    This year the Dominica Cancer Society is placing emphasis on prostate cancer. 32 men died from the disease last year.

    Meantime President of the Dominica Cancer Society Vina Royer says government has approved a grant of $30,000 to fund a cancer wellness center.

    “You should not have to die because you are diagnosed with prostate cancer. You should reach out and we are reaching out and doing our best in that regard. I want to say thanks to government because they recently approved a grant $30,000 that will assist us in setting up a wellness center,” she explained.

  17. goner
    October 19, 2011

    hmm not quite on the horizon could show a totally different pictures in the next six months in my view!!

    looking out from the mountain top..watching the incoming tides…..

    • Dominican
      October 20, 2011

      You disappointed in the good news?

    October 19, 2011

    This is very wonderful and joyous news for Dominica and the North. I am also happy for the businesses in the area and that means more jobs.

    Every little bid counts and I hope the Governement can work with Ross University to expand into other areas.

      October 20, 2011

      Oh my, so many thumbs down for a sensible comment. Surely it cant be because its from WIKILEAKS.

      OK he/she intends to go overboard, but give credit where credit is due, it is good news for the North and Dominica as a whole.

      Regarding the first year students being housed together, thats not a new trend, it happens on most university campus, but I would prefer it if all the housing was provided/managed by Dominicans.

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