The University of Belize (UB) has as part of its mandate the delivery of key research for national development. Its students are subject to numerous research classes where they learn the ins and outs of preparing and presenting research papers and have the option to do a final thesis to get their degree. Some of those students and their lecturers presented on a wide range of topics at today’s 3rd Annual Research Conference, hosted by the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences. At the opening ceremony in Belize City today, Dr. Leopold Perriott, lecturer and guest speaker, expounded on how research keeps a university fresh.
Dr. Leopold Perriott – Lecturer and guest speaker:
The main function of research is the generation of new and appropriate knowledge. The main function of teaching on the other hand is to prepare and disseminate knowledge in the society. This is both new knowledge and existing knowledge. A University is traditionally a place where the newest knowledge can be obtained. That’s where it is. Clearly knowledge is the operative word in this discussion. It is a product around which University business is conducted. In speaking like someone from your faculty, the faculty of Management and Social Science, research is the production part, the production process of this business, while teaching performs the marketing part of this business.
One of the presenters is Accounting Bachelor student Shamira Hoare, who shared with PLUS News the details of her research into the connection between academic performance and family support.
Shamira Hoare – UB Student:
I think having a research that you’ve done yourself, and seeing the benefits that we can give to students, because with my research you can look how many students have been affected this relocation, and there can be implemented ways that can help these students transition better into this new environment they are in, because the majority of them come from the North. The society is different. The environment is different. So if they could have a better way of transitioning, having support from the school itself, to transition better and have less of these factors affecting them, then we could create a better standing for UB itself, because their GPAs would be higher, and they would see that the University is looking towards their benefit, to make sure that they do well in school.
Hoare told us that students without adequate support systems from outside of the Belize District tended to do more poorly in school. As for future plans, conference coordinator and Management lecturer Dr. Jean Briceno-Perriott says other faculties of the University, from Education to Nursing to IT, will get involved.
Dr. Jean Briceno-Perriott – Conference Coordinator and Management Lecturer:
I think that’s the way we’re heading. This is our third Annual Conference and it has been successful. We thank the media for letting people be aware of what we’re doing, because that’s one of the points of the Conferences, for our stakeholders who are here present also to see are doing.
We need to expand now. Other faculties will be joining us. Therefore the variety of research that will be displayed and presented will be wide.
Actually, one of the presenters here today, from the first study that I mentioned, is a core investigator and he is from one of the other faculties.
Topics on the agenda include everything from texting and English to Facebook’s impact on small businesses to changes in accounting systems. The conference continues all day today.