The Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena has strongly articulated the need to strengthen the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE) Council during a meeting last Friday.

Sir Nathaniel met the College Counsel to highlight areas that he wants the Council to facilitate to improve the current status of SICHE.

SICHE is the country's only institution which trains thousands of Solomon Islanders in different fields and professions.

Among one of the many significant areas that need urgent attention is the upgrading of SICHE into a University.

"The idea of having progressive development of the College to eventually enjoy University status needs to be viewed against the unfolding high demand and the need to train more of our young people to University level at home," he said.

He said Solomon Islands may benefit more by having its own University of Technology which would produce technocrats to take charge of industries which utilize modern technology.

Sir Nathaniel suggested that the College Council must become increasingly proactive towards the growth of our population and the increasing demand for higher education and training.

"We need a kind of training that must be at pace with the rapidly changing circumstances and environment of the contemporary Solomon Islands in a highly competitive global market with a much more demanding national community,"

Sir Nathaniel also pointed out the importance of raising the research capacity of SICHE by engaging our highly trained and intellectually able man-power to establish the desired research capability.

He said the world of academia thrives through ongoing research and publication.

Sir Nathaniel encouraged SICHE's academics to embark on relevant applied research into challenging fears of topics which relate to nation building, economic development and social reformation to advance the nation to new heights.

The Governor General also recommended the Council to have a representative from the Chamber of Commerce to effectively connect pre-service manpower production and in-service training requirements with employers.

Currently the Council's membership does not include any representative from the Chamber of Commerce or the Private Sector.

Source: Press Release (GCU)