Education Minister Dr. Gale Rigobert has described rumours that the International American University College of Medicine (IAU) is moving out of Saint Lucia as “categorically false and mischievous”.
Dr. Rigobert comments comes weeks after another medical school, the Atlantic School of Medicine in Rodney Bay, moved its operations to Antigua and Barbuda.
However, the minister said in a statement this morning, August 9, that the leadership of the IAU “had reason recently to clarify rumours that it was relocating to another Caribbean island”.
Dr. Rigobert has acknowledged that the situation regarding accreditation of medical schools came to a head in April of this year, triggered by a letter disseminated by the ECFMG from the USA, regarding the eligibility of graduates of medical schools in Saint Lucia to be licenced in Saint Lucia.
She said the rumour mill then went into “overdrive” with speculations rife about the status of medical schools and their graduates.
“I have had several exchanges with the IAU and I am satisfied that the school is making every effort to secure accreditation,” she said in the statement.
“The IAU has given me every assurance that it is not at this time contemplating relocation,” she said.
According to Dr. Rigobert, the Ministry of Education has been working very closely with the IAU and other stakeholders to resolve the situation. Dr. Rigobert said she is confident that the IAU will rebound from the unwarranted onslaught of “misleading and mischievous pronouncements”.
She went on to say that she is adamant that the ministry is “unwavering” in its commitment to ensuring high quality tertiary education in Saint Lucia. In that regard, she said the ministry and other stakeholders are agreed that “we ought to maintain high standards, preserve the reputation of Saint Lucia and guarantee the international comparability of degree programmes offered here in Saint Lucia”.