Mourant Ozannes has stepped up its corporate sponsorship for the academic chair at the International College of the Cayman Islands as it expands its business programme to meet rising demand for internationally accredited degrees.
The law firm is increasing its commitment to $18,500 to cover a three-year period to help fund a full-time professor in accounting and finance. An academic chair is a university designation given to a professor for specialised knowledge and research and is traditionally funded by either private corporations or foundations.
An integral part of Mourant Ozannes’ commitment is having staff give guest lectures to business classes on specialised topics, such as the state of structured finance or trends in the funds sector.
Neal Lomax, Managing Partner of the Cayman office of Mourant Ozannes, said, “We believe strongly that education is critical to the future success of financial services industry in Cayman. We are delighted to continue our support for ICCI and wish the college every success with its new initiatives.”
As the business environment has become more competitive in recent years, more students are enrolling in the accounting, finance, banking and management programmes to meet the demands in the employer’s market, said ICCI President John Cummings.
“Having Mourant Ozannes’ support in hiring a full-time professor who understands the dynamics of the financial services sector will bring the business programme to a new level,” he said. “Additionally, the timing in hiring a professor dovetails nicely with the completion of the new business building, which will be ready in time for the fall term and enable us to accept more students into our business programmes.”
ICCI Dean Scott Cummings expressed his gratitude to Mourant Ozannes for its three-year sponsorship of the academic chair.
“When the academic chair was first proposed, Mourant Ozannes was the first firm to recognise its importance to higher education in the Cayman Islands and make a financial commitment and other firms are following their lead,” he said. “The creation of an academic chair in accounting and finance will enable the college to continue to provide a world class education to our accounting and business students.”
Since ICCI is a private nonprofit institution that strives to keep its tuition at an affordable level, corporate sponsorship is key to growing and expanding the school’s offerings, he added. The goal is to fully fund the academic chair with private sector sponsorships and hire a professor by January 2012.