The member of parliament for Vieux Fort South has said many of his constituents are deeply concerned about the future of the International American University College of Medicine (IAU).
There are fears that the IAU will struggle to get accredited for future higher education courses.
This has been denied by Gale Rigobert, minister for education, innovation, gender relations and sustainable development.
Rigobert dismissed rumours of the institution leaving the island as ‘categorically false’.
But Kenny Anthony, the area’s St Lucia Labour Party MP, said that issues over whether students will be returning is making student landlords uneasy.
“Of late, several home owners who rent their properties to students attending IAU are concerned about the future of their properties because of the ongoing issues regarding the accreditation of the institution,” he said.
“Some are fearful, that their investments in building apartments and renovating their homes to accommodate foreign students will suffer because of the uncertainty regarding the accreditation status of the institution.”
No response to opposition letters on IAU
The St Lucia Labour Party has been critical of the government’s handling of issues surrounding the IAU’s accreditation.
“I am also deeply concerned. In early August, I wrote to the minister of education for a meeting sometime after 22 August 2017, to get clarification from her of the nature of the accreditation issues facing IAU and other institutions operating in St Lucia,” Anthony said.
“I am aware she attempted to calm fears by suggesting that the Ministry of Education is working to resolve the issues.
To date nothing significant has happened and it appears that IAU is haemorrhaging. I am yet to get a response to my letter.”
The previous government – under the leader of the St Lucia Labour Party – declared Vieux Fort a ‘university town’, Anthony said, and it is “vital that the issues of accreditation are quickly resolved.”