accomplishments have been impressive, given the relative infancy of the
institution and the limited resources at its disposal.
URACCAN is already
offering degree programs in the disciplines of teacher education, nursing
sciences, and sociology/ anthropology, as well as sustainable resource
management in the areas of fishing, mining, and forestry.
In addition, URACCAN's
extensive outreach programs cover a wide range of topics. For example,
in the 1997 academic year it offered over 50 seminars in areas such as
ecological tourism, business management, cooperativism, community development,
human rights, indigenous rights, gender issues, electoral rights, culture
and bilingualism. Currently, URACCAN is developing two technical certification
programs in skilled trades, such as diesel mechanics, electronics, electricity
University's staff has demonstrated excellent organizational and management
skills by creating a vibrant university with an ambitious, forward-looking
institutional development plan.
Since the University
opened its doors in march of 1995, the demand for URACCAN programs has
been enormous . By December of that year, over five hundred students
had completed their first year of classes. In March 1996, total enrollment
in all prgrams had reached close to 2,000 students. It is expected
that enrollment will increase by 400 students every year until it is stabilized
at 3,200 students by the year 2000.
to enhance access for students from various social and cultural backgrounds
and age groups ensures continual community support. Accessibility
is ensured in several ways: tuition fees are held to a minimum and scholarships
are offered to students in need (70% of all students receive partial or
full scholarship support); the university's three parallel campuses serve
the needs of the three centres of the region (Bluefields, Bilwi [Puerto
Cabezas] and Siuna), each of which has its own unique cultural and linguistic
make-up; and, finally, URACCAN courses are scheduled to ensure access for
strength and success of URACCAN - as well as it uniqueness - lies in its
embeddedness in the communities it seeks to serve.
is the product of a bottom-up approach to institutional development. It
was created by local community members and thus fully reflects the needs
and aspirations of the peoples of the Caribbean Coast.