Preparation for the Start of the New Semester – A Message from the President


24th July, 2020

My Dear Students (new and returning),

Preparation for the Start of the New Semester

I do hope you are having a restful vacation and a well-deserved break away from the University of Belize or from your previous School/College.  We are preparing once more to engage you in our teaching and learning for semester one of the new academic year 2020-21 which begins on 1st August, 2020.  Let me state that 1st August is a very special one for the University of Belize, as this institution will be celebrating 20 years of existence on that day.  So a happy 20th anniversary to the University of Belize and we all deserve a round of applause for the contributions this young university has made in building high level human capacity for Belize. 

We are entering this new year in the midst of the global pandemic COVID-19 and all the negative impacts it has brought to us as individuals and our institution.  We have to once more be resolved to face the challenges of this pandemic frontally for the benefit of you, our students, and your desire for a good university education.  Human development, notwithstanding the challenging times we face must be seen as a priority and a pathway to the socioeconomic development of Belize.  Thus, we cannot falter. 

With a raging pandemic still in place, and in the globalized world in which we live, the health and safety precautions that have been recommended must be adhered to.  This is especially difficult in universities that are places of socialization both within and outside of the classrooms and this is what makes it especially challenging for all of us.  We also understand the financial impacts of this pandemic on our students and their parents/sponsors.  In this environment, and after the recent deliberations of the Academic Council of UB and in preparation for the new semester, the following measures will be put in place:

  1. The new normal for our teaching will once more be through online education using the Moodle platform and or the Google Classroom.  
  2. For those courses where there is a practical component, for example in the laboratories, face-to-face teaching will occur with the appropriate health and safety precautions.  Some blended teaching and learning will therefore occur.
  3. All (students/staff/faculty) entering the campuses must wear a mask, comply with the minimum social distance standard of 3 to 6 feet and maintain hygiene etiquette.
  4. All must enter our campuses and buildings at designated entry points.
  5. All entering the campuses will be subjected to temperature checks by our Campus Safety Officers.
  6. Wash stations will be provided at strategic positions on our campuses.
  7. The Wi-Fi capabilities will be strengthened across our campuses so that students can have access to the internet in an open space.  Students without access to Wi-Fi and/or computers at home will have access to our campuses and the controlled use of our computer labs. 
  8. All tests and exams will be conducted on the Moodle platform to increase security and minimize errors in data management.
  9. A new Online Testing Policy will be launched for our Instructors to provide clarity about online instruction and evaluation.
  10. Our Office of Distance Learning (ODL) will continue to support our Faculty and Students with online instructional training and learning respectively.
  11. Students should familiarize themselves with the Policies in the Student Handbook that is on our Website.
  12. Registration for new and returning students will be from 10th to 14th August, 2020 under the Office of the Registrar, while academic advising will be conducted by the relevant, assigned Faculty.
  13. Orientation for new students will be done online over the period 3rd to 4th August, 2020 and I expect you will be hearing from our Dean of Students.
  14. Classes will formally begin on 17th August, 2020 either online or in a blended format and I expect you will hear more from the Dean of your Faculty and/or the Chair of the Department.
  15. Financial responsibility of students:
    • Students enrolled prior to 2019/2020 will pay the same tuition they paid in 2019.
    • Students enrolled in 2019/2020 and new students will pay $37.00 per credit tuition hour (Associates) and $100.00 per credit tuition hour (Bachelors).
    • Belizean students will have to pay a minimum of 25% of tuition and fees when registering and thereafter 25% at the end of end of each month ending in November 2020.
  16. No returning student will be allowed to register while having outstanding balances.
  17. Students can apply to the Development Finance Corporation for a new Special-Low-Interest-Low-Collateral loan for UB students – please see our website.

Further information on these matters may be obtained from the following offices:

  • ODL                                            Dr. Frieda Palma

                                                               fpalma@ub.edu.bz

  • Student Affairs                         Dr. Martin Cuellar

                                                               mcuellar@ub.edu.bz

  • Registration Services              Mrs. Rose Pineda

                                                               rpineda@ub.edu.bz

  • Admission/Acceptance          Mrs. Camilla Barker

                                                               cbarker@ub.edu.bz

  • Finance                                      Mr. Orlando Palma

                                                               opalma@ub.edu.bz

  • Health and Safety Matters     Mr. John Salam/Mr. Francis Burns

                                                                jsalam@ub.edu.bz

                                                                fburns@ub.edu.bz

Our Offices at the University are there to facilitate your transition into University life and especially in this new normal.   That while in this new normal we may not be seeing you on campus on a regular basis, our Office of Student Affairs will continue to engage you online and with controlled events on our campuses.  I expect you will be hearing from many of our University Leaders in the very near future as we approach the period of registration.

We have to manage this pandemic together and I appreciate the sacrifices that all will be making, but this is for your well-being as a University education is an investment for your future and Belize’s advancement.  We hope and pray that this pandemic will pass soon so that our lives can return to some state of where we were before.  In this new environment, we all have to be innovative and creative and find new ways of doing things that we normally took for granted. The use of technology is facilitating us in these directions.  I look forward to welcoming you to the University of Belize very soon and my best wishes for your success and advancement.

 “We will not be going back to the “old normal”. The pandemic has already changed the way we live our lives.  Part of adjusting to the “new normal” is finding ways to live our lives safely.  It can be done, but how to do it will depend on where you live and your circumstances.  It’s all about making good choices.  We are asking everyone to treat the decisions about where they go, what they do and who they meet with as life-and-death decisions – because they are.  It may not be your life, but your choices could be the difference between life and death for someone you love, or for a complete stranger.” (World Health Organization)

 

Sincerely,

 

Prof. Emeritus Clement Sankat, Ph.D.

President

Copied to: Administrators, Deans, Chairs, Faculty, Staff

 

Download the President’s Message HERE