In Haiti, higher education remains unattainable despite the proliferation of universities and institutes all over the landscape of post-secondary education. Given the poor quality of basic education, the cohorts made up of the country’s most affluent youth constitute a human capital lacking the necessary preparation to pursue post-secondary education, given the rigor and excellence required by such an endeavor. The few students who meet the standards of admission are not better served because of the mediocre quality of a university education undermined by inadequate curricula, ineffectual faculty, and the strikes and political demonstrations that very often disrupt the regularly scheduled courses. Obviously, such conditions will not enable Haiti to close the 25-year knowledge and know-how gap between the Caribbean countries and North America in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (see OAS report, 2012). Paradoxically, this country benefits from enviable demographics: 43% of the population are under the age of 18, according to the projections of the Haitian Institute of Statistics and Informatics (IHSI, 2015).
Yet conditions are such that the country continues to suffer from an ongoing brain drain.
The latest statistics show that 40, 000 Haitian students are enrolled in post-secondary programs in the Dominican Republic; the initiative to launch a University that combines both excellence and affordability represents one way of reversing this trend. By integrating experts and professors of various backgrounds into the programs — from Haiti, Africa, North America and Europe — the UHSF intends to offer Haitian youth an education determined by globally recognized knowledge and best practices that are relevant to the socio-economic and cultural aspects of Haitian society. The UHSF intends to offer high-quality training while helping students achieve valuable skills and knowledge oriented towards the transformation of the physical and human landscape. It plans to initiate three complementary programs capable of building the kind of synergy that will foster innovation and the emergence of value-added companies.