BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
THE Anglican Church of Melanesian (ACOM) will establish a University named John Coleridge Patterson University (JCPU) with enrolment beginning next year.
This was highlighted by ACOM Archbishop George Takeli during the handover ceremony of teacher’s material yesterday, which is the contributing course book for the proposed university.
Takeli said that the new university is not to pose extra competition for the existing institutions but rather to increase quality tertiary education opportunities for the country’s growing population.
“The population of Solomon Islands is estimated to reach a total population of more than 700,000 people, and more than half of this population rate will be youths and those of learning age level.
“With this population growth, there is obviously an urgent need to establish one or more universities in the country to meet the education needs of our learning national population.”
He believes an additional university will not affect the enrolment of the existing ones because of Solomon Islands fast growing population.
Takeli explains that ACOM is the largest Christian denomination in Solomon Islands, which has grown by 50 percent in the last 10 years and will by 2019 reach an estimated 200,000 followers – half of which are youths and learning-age group.
“And so, establishing the JCPU for our church is part of our strategic aim to provide access to tertiary education.
“That is particularly to serve the strategic goal to developing the overall human resource for leadership and services in our church and nation as a whole.”