Dan Scott, EY’s regional managing partner, and ICCI Board Chairman Mike Mannisto

Accounting and consultancy firm EY has committed US$300,000 to the International College of the Cayman Islands to support the delivery and growth of the college’s programs.

The money will also be used to expand ICCI’s online education initiatives.

EY has already provided ICCI with US$120,000, as part of its commitment. The remaining amount will be paid over the next three years to the privately run college.

“The financial investment and commitment that we are announcing today has helped ICCI invest in technology and will help ICCI meet its goals in continuing to provide high quality, accessible and affordable education to better prepare students across the Cayman Islands for the workplace of the future,” Dan Scott, EY’s regional managing partner, said in a press release.

Mr. Scott said EY and ICCI share a goal of building a better working world and better communities. The financial commitment will “give more Caymanians access to the practical knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in today’s competitive employment market,” he noted.

ICCI Board Chairman Mike Mannisto emphasized that a strong economy and affordable higher education are key to building better communities in the Cayman Islands.

“We are grateful for the private sector’s confidence in ICCI as demonstrated by donations and commitments such as this donation from EY. Investment from the private sector is critical in helping ICCI continue to build on its nearly 50-year legacy.”

Founded in 1970, ICCI was the first college in the Cayman Islands. It aims to build better communities, and its mission is to prepare students for career placement and enhancement by equipping them with critical thinking, problem solving and self-directed learning skills, ICCI said in the press release. Since it opened, more than 2,000 people have graduated from the college.

ICCI’s focus will be on extending access to its degree programs to more Caymanians and continuing to invest in building an online learning platform. The financial investment that EY has already made and is committed to making in the future will go a long way toward helping ICCI meet that goal, the college said.

“Many of our students require credentials to improve the lives of their families, but overseas education and costly online programs are not within their reach,” Mr. Mannisto said. “High quality education is important to help these students achieve upward advancement, especially with the changing skills required by employers.”

According to the latest Cayman Islands Labor Force Survey Report, released in the fall of 2016, more than 75 percent of working Caymanians do not have a college or university degree.

The college’s press statement noted that “when you layer on a significant amount of projected economic growth and demand for more talent in the coming years, this is a very concerning statistic.”

Mr. Mannisto said ICCI wants to change this. The college will begin an enrollment drive and give away two new iPhone 8s when they are released later this year.

“We wanted to select leading innovative technology as the prize for this challenge, since at ICCI, world-leading technology is a key part of our learning environment, thanks to donations from the private sector such as EY,” Mr. Mannisto said. “For example, we have 100 percent smart technology in every one of our classrooms. Our students are using their mobile devices to listen to lectures, take online courses, do quizzes, check their grades, collaborate with other students and faculty from around the world, in addition to numerous other things that increase the value and quality of the education they are receiving, and at the same time make higher education more accessible to them.”

EY’s donation has been used to support the development of critical components of ICCI’s fully digital campus. The college wants to build on this with EY’s future commitment and donations from other partners in education.

ICCI is accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities (ASIC) as a Premier College. The college’s business programs were recently accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), a U.S.-based professional accrediting organization for international college and university business programs.

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