A new avenue into the legal profession for Caymanians has opened up through a two year associate degree programme at the University College of the Cayman Islands.
The full-time course in Legal Studies serves as an entry point into the industry for school leavers, ultimately interested in pursuing a law degree.
It could also help students or people working as legal secretaries to qualify for more advanced work in the field, without going on to do a full law degree.
Roy Bodden, president of UCCI, said: “You can come right out of high school and get into this programme and when you finish it, you can get into law school.
“For some, who are already working in the industry, it would help them take on more responsibilities. If they want to probate documents, put together certain legal files, there are a certain number of tasks they can do without the supervision of an attorney.”
The course is recognized by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and takes two years for full-time students, four for part-time students.
“It is important for more of our young people to get into the legal profession. I hope we can develop an understanding with the law school to take on students from this course.”
The University College is also adding a bachelor of science in nursing to its curriculum for the next academic year and will begin implementing a “more robust” teacher education programme.
“This will allow Caymanians to obtain a bachelor of education over four years thus allowing for our teachers to be trained locally,” said Mr. Bodden.
He said it had always been his aim to help ensure Cayman had enough teachers and nurses.
“This was planned before Shetty or any other similar plan involving developments in the Caymanian health services. When I interviewed for the job I said I wanted Cayman to be self sufficient in teaching and nursing. That’s essential to develop a sustainable, vibrant society.”
The nursing programme is a four-year bachelor of science degree that qualifies graduates to work in hospitals or in the community as registered nurses.
Mr. Bodden said the university leadership was trying, where possible, to tailor the course options at the university to the needs of the society and to provide every opportunity for the government to save valuable foreign exchange by providing more opportunities for young Caymanians to obtain undergraduate degrees at the University College.
“We review and revise our course offerings every year to keep it as relevant as possible. Our primary objective, particularly when it comes to graduate courses, is workforce development,” said Mr. Bodden