The University of Belize is leading the way in GIS Technology Print E-mail
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Friday, 16 November 2018 00:00

The University of Belize (UB) is constantly broadening its course offerings to better allow students to fit into the job market and the most recent addition has included a Bachelors of Statistics program and a Professional Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The programs were launched on Friday, November 9, 2018 and according to Julianne Pasos, Dean of Faculty in the Science and Technology Department, the University expects to start both programs in January 2019.

She says that the former was developed in partnership with The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) because of the need for statisticians in the country. “SIB is looking to launch the National Statistics System and for that the proposal is to have that all organizations will have a statistics unit.”

The GIS program is the first of its kind and is expected to expose students to spatial data and its role in addressing the issues surrounding environment, land, and other natural resources. Just like in the field of statistics, Pasos says that there is a need to train people in GIS technology and the University has been approached before by people asking if it was a part of their course offering. “We kept having people coming to ask, can I take a course in GIS?  Do you all have a program in this and so we said we can develop one, and so in developing it though we said, people don’t want to come in and sit in a four-year or two-year program.  So a professional certificate would be the way to go.  The professional certificate is a one-year program that gives the person or the student the applications of GIS in different fields.” At the end of the one-year program, students will have a project to complete, which will allow them to apply what they learnt.

Pasos says that the first cohort of students that will enroll in the two programs is expected to be persons that already work in the respective fields but who want additional training.

It is through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that the University has launched bachelor’s programs in both fields.


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