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By Alicia Sutherland—-

MANDEVILLE, Manchester—-

Pro-chancellor of International University of the Caribbean (IUC) and immediate past president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce Keith Smith said that it is time that Mandeville be officially recognised as a university/college town.

He made the call at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Mandeville at the Golf View Hotel last week.

The bustling Mandeville town square. (Photos: Gregory Bennett)


“University/college towns are so designated because of the presence of the educational institutions; they impact on the economic and social life of the town. Many university/college towns have become centres of technological research and innovative start ups,” said Smith.

He said that Mandeville-based institutions such as Northern Caribbean University (NCU), formerly West Indies College, have a history of providing tertiary level education to international students. The location of the town is at the centre of the island and the highway programme and the possibility of rail service will facilitate travel in and out of the town. There are currently a significant number of educational institutions “with national and international record and reputation”.

He added that there is available space in the form of government lands and mined out restored land for the building and expansion of the university/college town. In addition, the crime rate is low and the climate is ideal in Mandeville, which has a population of returning residents with international experience and culture.

There are “substantial” medical facilities and commercial outlets which will be enhanced by the coming of MegaMart. Plus, the presence of Government entities such as the Ministry of Education.

The IUC pro-chancellor said that in order to promote the concept and make it real, the political leadership in the area and the business community need to support the idea through proactive measures.

“The commercial sector, with the participation of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, should provide discount and credit facilities to university/college students. Government and/or bauxite reclaimed lands should be transferred to or long-leased at peppercorn rent to universities and colleges consistent with approved development plans by such institutions,” he said.

Smith also argued that packaging and branding of Mandeville as a university town… through our foreign missions, could be developed in the context of education tourism.


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