Offshore medical school accused of poaching students

A battle appears to be under way between two offshore medical schools operating here, with both the Washington University of Barbados (WUB), which recently saw several students requesting transfers, and the American University of Barbados (AUB) accusing each other of engaging in underhand practices.

A person claiming to be a AUB student has come forward suggesting that the Wildey, St Michael-based institution had set about to poach WUB students by any means necessary.

This comes after reports earlier this month that WUB was heavily criticized by some of its students over what they deemed to be false promises and mistreatment by the university.

 In an email, the writer had claimed that the students, who are said to be mainly from India, were mistreated, harassed and were given false promises before they embarked on the journey here to study medicine.

The list of grievances included inadequate classroom furniture and equipment, a lack of air-conditioning, improper ventilation, poor quality food, a lack of study materials and, unlike traditional universities, no proper campus, with WUB operating from the Hibiscus wing of the Casa Grande Hotel at Oldbury, St Philip.

Additionally, they suggested that that the school had not completed its mandatory Barbados Accreditation Council registration.

In the latest development, a signed document has surfaced with the subject, Slander of Washington University of Barbados by Directors of American University of Barbados.

It purports to come from a second-year medical student at AUB, Zeel Rakeshkumar, who contended that UAB had employed a Barbadian intermediary to influence WUB students to switch schools.

 “I am aware, and I know that [this intermediary] then started going to Washington University of Barbados to influence the students there. He started offering lower fee packages to join AUB as compared to WUB so that students can convince their parents easily for the transfer to this University

“AUB students were asked to get students from Washington University and the students who facilitate a transfer to AUB, they will be credited with US$1,000.  I was even asked by a director for a small presentation specially arranged by American University of Barbados for Washing University’s students.  I was even told to talk to WUB’s students and their parents to convince them to make the University transfer,” the person claimed in the four-page document seen by Barbados TODAY.

The writer also claimed that AUB students were asked to spread false information about WUB, including “a fake video which from time to time has been posted on YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp”.

That video, which is believed to have been filmed by a student with a mobile phone, placed WUB under the microscope.

 In it, the university’s Dean Dr Ram Prasad Upreti expressed disdain for the campus.  In an emotional speech during which he received raucous applause, and in which he threatened to call Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, the unions, the media and even the police to intervene, Upreti all but dismissed WUB as a legitimate medical school.

WUB, which accepted its first batch of students in April this year, has faced questions about its legitimacy, as 15 of the 80 foreign students have indicated a desire to leave.

 Meantime, Director Deoraj Delchand meantime told Barbados TODAY that though he is unaware of the document from Barot, it contained some serious allegations, which, if true, warranted an investigation by the relevant authorities.

“Although these things have popped up I have not paid them much attention. If the facts are there, then I would like the relevant authorities to deal with this. Personally, I have a lot of suspicions that there is a lot going on but to actually say [what is outlined in the letter] is the case definitively at this point in time I’m not very sure of that, but if it is, I would like to see something done about it.

All these universities coming here to Barbados is good for the country. I would like to see plenty more schools if I had my way. I think there is the scope. There is a huge demand for medical professionals the world over so all of us can survive. But what I would like to see is us being professional. Although it is competitive we can have more than one university . . . it must be done the right way.”

In a response this afternoon, an AUB official who gave his name only as Ravi, strongly denied that the campus was involved in any form of student poaching, and that an investigation would be launched to determine if the letter writer was a student, or an imposter posing as a student.

He also told Barbados TODAY that there were plans to hold a press conference next Wednesday at the Ministry of Health at which time the students, who were allegedly poached, will have a chance to tell their side of the story.

3 Responses to Offshore medical school accused of poaching students

  1. lswiltshire August 26, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    What is all the fuss about?

    This is common nothing new here.

    One recalls a similar situation in Antigua in 2003 when UHSA objected to the impending advent of AUA. Cin Bonaire in 2004 and in Curacao in 2005. When Xavier –now in Aruba- started in Bonaire, they not only poached the students, they poached the teaching staff as well. A similar thing happened with Aureus or Acvalon with the more established St Martinus.

    Either this student is malicious, or does not study as they should, or their school has put them up to this. The role of a medical student is simple EAT SLEEP AND BEAT Book. Intra school politics and other fandangles is none of their business.

    Despite the fancy pretty websites and promises thereon, these conditions are the norm at nearly all the bogus offshore medical stools in the Carribean..

    Students from India and elsewhere are routinely fooled and then on reaching the islands are indeed mistreated, harassed and given false promises before they embarked on the journey here to study medicine.

    These students will soon find out that the list of grievances that includes inadequate classroom furniture and equipment, a lack of air-conditioning, improper ventilation, poor quality food, a lack of study materials and, unlike traditional universities, no proper campus, is the least of their future worries.

    What will happen when those who are seeking to go to work in the US, find that they have not been properly prepared for the mandatory USMLE exams?

    What will they do when they return to their countries and find happen. that they have not been properly prepared for the licensing exams of their countries.

    Operating from the Hibiscus wing of the Casa Grande Hotel at Oldbury, St Philip.is the least of their concerns. Ms Ram’s place is far superior than the locations of many of the offshore schools around today and far superior to the little guest house where Ross University began in 1978.

    Since then offshore Carribean medical schools have operated in the most obnoxious places.

    Reply
  2. lswiltshire August 26, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    why does ryan gilkes not research questions such as
    AUB STARTED IN 2012
    1 how many AUB students have passed USMLE STEP ONE OR STEP TWO EXAMS? WHAT IS THE PERCENTAGE PASS RATES?

    2 HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE IN RESIDENCIES IN US AUB STARTED IN 2012

    3 HOW MANY BARBADIAN DRS ARE TEACHING AT AUB? AFTER ALL AUB DOES NOT HAVE TO SECURE WORK PERMITS FOR BARBADIAN DRS TO WORK IN BARBADOS

    4 IF THEY ARE NOT EMPLOYING BARBADIAN DRS TO TEACH AT AUB WHY IS THIS?

    5 HOW MANY BARBADIAN DRS HAVE APPLIED TO TEACH AT AUB?

    THE SAME QUESTIONS CAN BE ASKED FOR THE OTHER BOGUS SCHOOL

    Reply
  3. Ian Haynes August 27, 2017 at 8:56 am

    The questions asked are very relevant. In addition, AUB should say whether or not they sent individuals to Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean Medical schools to porch students.
    AUB is profit driven, Gary makes no bones about that. Yes he is prepared to grease palms to get what he wants, and he makes says it openly. Let him say which law firm does his paper work and who are the attorneys!
    Let him say what is the vast difference in salaries paid to Indian and non-Indian lecturers. Tell him to explain and justify giving $200.00 increases to non-Indians and giving an Indian without medical credentials $1000.00 increase in the same week.
    One must remember that AUB just invested mega bucks to purchase the new facility in Wildey, so they want to recoup even faster than possible.

    Reply

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