Admission applications are now open for fall semester at the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI). Record enrolment this summer increased the demand for classes, so students are being encouraged to apply early in order to get the courses they want.
If you’ve been thinking about continuing your education, why not take a cue from those who have had success at UCCI?
Recent graduates Laurent Bodden and Leah Archibold say UCCI changed their lives and set them on a path leading to what they are certain will be successful careers.
Bodden, who was honoured in April with UCCI’s Recent Graduate Alumnus Award, earned an associate degree in hospitality management in 2018. He was a top student, receiving such recognition as the Minister’s Award, the F&B Award and the Rotation Award. In May, he was named assistant restaurant manager at Grand Old House.
A skilled football player, Bodden is now a senior at Johnson & Wales University’s North Miami campus, a school with a global reputation in the hospitality industry. Bodden is encouraging other young people to take advantage of what UCCI has to offer when classes begin in August.
Tamsin Deasey, UCCI’s director of admissions and registration, says that demand is expected to increase as more people see the advantage of studying here in the Cayman Islands.
“Almost 1,000 students signed up for classes at UCCI in April, a 25% increase compared to Summer 2020. With a growing programme that offers everything from pre-college classes to post-graduate studies. This summer we had a number of students that couldn’t get the schedules they wanted because our classes filled very quickly.
“UCCI is now attracting a broader range of students of all ages, many of whom might traditionally have opted to study abroad. Cayman residents are choosing to study local and go far and take advantage of the education available on their doorstep.
“The amazing thing about UCCI is that you can go as far as you want,” Deasey added, “because UCCI prepares you with a quality education comparable to what students might find at any respected university around the world.”
The ability to study local and go far proved true for Leah Archibold, who graduated in April with a bachelor’s in business administration and a minor in marketing. Archibold began her career at UCCI as a dual-enrollment student while attending Clifton Hunter High School and was poised to head to the UK to complete her bachelor’s degree when she discovered UCCI had just added a marketing minor to its business administration degree options. It was a relief she said.
“At 17, going to another country is a big jump,” Archibold said. “I didn’t really feel like I was ready for that.”
At UCCI, she said, she got to know her instructors well.
“I’ve developed these great relationships with all the business professors,” she said. “They’re passionate about us learning. They want to see us excel academically. I’ve grown to call them my family.”
Archibold, a football fan and former player on the Cayman national team, is an avid photographer and also served as president of the UCCI Student Government. At UCCI, she had the advantage of job internships, including a year-and-a-half stint with UCCI’s marketing department. She said she feels well prepared to pursue her master’s degree and will be attending Nottingham Trent University in the UK this fall.
Academic and strong ties to the business community are not the only benefits UCCI can offer students, Deasey said. There are also logistical advantages.
“Given the Covid-19 global pandemic, staying in Cayman, where the virus has been kept at bay, makes a lot of sense,” Deasey said. “It’s also cheaper than going overseas to study, especially when you consider that a number of private and local scholarships are available to students.”
UCCI President and CEO Stacy McAfee said continuing integration with the Cayman business community is making it even easier for students to transition into the work environment. The university prepares students for entry into the workforce as well as career progression, and provides reskilling and upskilling to meet the needs of the labour market in Cayman.
“UCCI is actively forging relationships with important job creators in Cayman,” McAfee said. “In fact, private sector partnerships are up fivefold since 2018. We are building the future of the nation through cooperative programmes that ensure local industry has access to local talent both while those students are studying and after graduation. This means our students are accessing satisfying careers within the Cayman Islands.”
For his part, Laurent Bodden found great training and a foot in the door with local restaurants such as Grand Old House and the Wharf. In 2019, he won the Stingray Award for Restaurant Employee of the Year.
“UCCI gave me the foundation to take on the necessary responsibilities in the restaurant management field and to excel,” Bodden said. “It was an important step in my career and in motivating me to go on to further studies at Johnson and Wales University, one of the world’s top schools in hospitality management.”
But students cannot take advantage of such benefits without first applying for admission. The time to do so is now, Deasey said. The future is just around the corner.
“We would strongly encourage both new and current students to complete their applications and register for classes, at the earliest opportunity, to secure their place at UCCI for Fall 2021,” Deasey said.
All current and prospective students are encouraged to visit https://www.ucci.edu.ky/fall-2021 for details on how to complete their respective applications and/or registrations and to view UCCI’s Fall 2021 class schedule. Those seeking assistance, can contact UCCI at email@example.com or call 1-345-623-8224. Operating hours are Monday Thursday, 8:30 a.m. 5 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.
Key dates for UCCI’s upcoming Fall 2021 semester are:
• Application deadline for new students: Open now through July 31. Students are encouraged to apply early to guarantee a place.
• Registration period for students (online & face to face): Now open and drop ins are welcome at any time.
• Classes start: Aug. 30.