University education is more than the next level in the learning process; it is a critical component of human development worldwide.
It provides not only the high-level skills necessary for every labour market but also the training essential for teachers, doctors, nurses, civil servants, engineers, humanists, entrepreneurs, scientists, social scientists, and a myriad of other personnel. It is these trained individuals who develop the capacity and analytical skills that drive local economies, support civil society, teach children, lead effective governments, and make important decisions which affect entire societies.
Today, graduates from the University of The Gambia are the main supplier of personnel in the Gambian workforce both in public and private institutions. Their impact in the socio-economic development of The Gambia cannot be therefore, be overemphasised.
But few would’ve imagined this just two decades ago when Gambia could only boost of a couple of higher learning institutes with homegrown university education regarded as a daydream. From the University Extension Programme that started in 1995, through partnership with the St. Mary’s University of Canada, to the establishment of the UTG in 1999, the results are there for all to see. Today Gambian trained university students occupy key positions in the public sector including ministers, permanent secretaries, directors, the list goes on.
The past 20 years has seen the UTG repositioned itself in a centre of excellence and one of the best academic institutes of learning in the sub-region. Therefore, the laying of the foundation stone for the over US$54 ultra modern state-of-the-art University Campus in Faraba Banta is another leapt in its strive to become one of the top universities in the world.
We would, therefore, once again thank the Gambian authorities for the foresight in establishing a university in the country and their undivided commitment in ensuring that the UTG attains its set goals.