The information that is coming out of Finance Committee about former University College of the Cayman Islands Hassan Syed is distressing at the least.
On the face if things, it would appear that UCCI and government officials were duped.
We won’t know the exact details until all the investigations are complete.
What we do know is that we, the Caymanian Compass, called the university where Syed allegedly obtained his credentials and found out there is no record of anyone by Hassan Syed’s name ever receiving a doctorate degree.
Unfortunately our culture is one based on trust. We take a man at his word.
While there is a dark cloud hanging over the former presidency of UCCI, it shouldn’t give the institution itself a black eye.
There are many good and qualified teachers and staff members at UCCI.
Much has been done to ensure that Caymanian students get the education they need to compete in the marketplace of employment.
The offerings at UCCI have been greatly increased to attract young Caymanians who have a desire to continue their education, receive a university degree and get a job here, at home.
We need to heed Minister Alden McLaughlin’s words – don’t judge UCCI on the basis of the personal conduct of Syed.
UCCI affords every young Caymanian the opportunity to study at home. Not everyone has enough money to venture overseas to continue their studies.
It is also a place where those already in the workforce can upgrade their education and do better in life with promotions because of extra education.
From this point forward UCCI has to maintain the momentum that has been built up in the past couple of years and continue to do what it has been doing – getting better and better and attracting more students.
The incidents surround Syed and UCCI are unfortunate.
Hopefully we all have learned a lesson about thorough background checks when we’re looking to hire someone and the realisation that we, as a country, have to let go of the notion that everyone is upfront and honest.
We’re confident that UCCI can overcome this dark cloud and maintain its reputation as a good, honourable and needed institution.