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Remarks by President Michel at the ceremony to mark the recognition of the University of Seychelles as a Registered Centre of the University of London, Anse Royale Campus, July 10th 2015

Fri, 10 July 2015

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Seychelles, Professor Dennis Hardy,

Deans,

Professors,

Distinguished guests

Staff of the university,

Students,

Sitting in front of you, listening to your words of encouragement, talking about the achievements of the university, and the plans for the future, I was looking in front of me, where I can see the poster advertising our university.

I felt very proud. The University of Seychelles “knowledge hub of the Indian Ocean” it reads. It is really something to be proud of, starting from nothing, now we are aiming to become that hub of the Indian Ocean, and we will become the hub of the Indian Ocean because we have the will to do so. With the will, we can achieve great things!

Professor Hardy, thank you very much for the copy of the certificate of recognition. To me it represents the power that symbolizes dreams and the drive to turn them into reality.

I remember back during my National Day speech on the 18th June 2007.

I emphasized that “We have reached the stage in our development where we have to take bold and daring decisions to take Seychelles and the Seychellois to the next level. The times have changed from when we said that Seychelles was too small to have a university.Our Seychelles may be small in size, but we have grown. We have grown in maturity, we have grown as a people, and we have grown in our capacity. Today, we resolve to develop this capacity further.”

I remember appointing a foundation to create the Seychelles university under the chairmanship of Professor Rolph Payet. The foundation comprised of local and international partners to develop a high level institution of training for Seychellois as well as foreigners, and today I would like to thank them for their invaluable contributions in helping to pave the way forward, to where we have come today.

I said in the speech;

“Our university will develop centres of excellence, for example, for studies in the environmental, tourism, maritime and financial services sectors.”

This is what I wanted to achieve for the people of Seychelles. This was my wish for our people. I called on all our people to rally behind this cause as it was the future, the future of young people.

I recalled also how we were ridiculed and how skeptical some people were; some said that we were too small and some said that we do not have the capacity to make it happen. But we proved them all wrong, we do have the capacity and we made it happen! Today it is happening in a big way and it is documented by award that has been given to us by the University of London.

Two years later the University was formally established on the 17th September 2009 at a special State House ceremony, and degree studies started in October 2009.

The official inauguration took place on Monday 29th November 2010 in the presence the University of London Chancellor, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

The first graduation ceremony took place on Friday 7th December 2012 where 21 graduands received their first degrees in Business Administration, and in Computing and Information Systems, and 107 graduands received their diplomas and advanced diplomas in Education.

The second graduation ceremony took place on November 2014 where 47 graduands had followed degrees in Accounting and Finance, Banking and Finance, Business Administration, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing, English Language, Computing and Information Systems and Geography and Environment. 290 certificate and diploma students in Education and IT also graduated.

 

Today there are 1,330 students enrolled at the university. Partner institutions include; the University of London, L’Université de La Réunion, and L’Université de Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne, Amity University, India, the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI), and the Institute of Public Administration, Ireland.

In the Seychelles Young Leaders Programme masters degrees programme, under the UniSey, the second cohort graduated in 2012, with 29 graduates and the third cohort graduated in 2014, with 27 graduates.

Ladies and gentlemen, students, UNISEY is a success story.  It is about believing in ourselves, it is about believing in the empowerment of the Seychellois youth.  Hats off to the hard working staff and leadership at the UNISEY. You have shown determination, resilience and have braved the hurdles.

It is today a recognition of all your hard work to make the University of Seychelles what it has become today. It is a proud day for the University of Seychelles.It is a proud day for Seychelles.

Today UNISEY is set to move to greater heights. We are preparing for our international intake and our research centres.

Thank you all for being part of the realization of a beautiful dream. Even if you are a small country, if you want to make it happen, you have to dream and dream big, and then realize it!

Thank you.

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