Grambling State University’s President Dr. Willie D. Larkin is looking to expand both educational borders and the GSU brand in Cuba. In 2014, President Obama announced that the United States would be restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. The announcement sparked interest and presented opportunities for entrepreneurs, corporations and for institutions of higher learning to expand their borders.
For the higher education community in particular, the benefits are numerous. According to a 2015 article in The Wall Street Journal, Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business are eager to enroll students from Cuba as soon as possible. “The Cuban market is attractive in part, because the country’s higher-education system has a reputation for developing students who are strong in math and the sciences,” according to Dr. Derrick Bolton, director at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
“Grambling must get in on the ground floor as the educational prospects open up in Cuba,” said Larkin, who has been visiting Cuba to garner first hand knowledge. “We cannot be left behind. Other universities are racing to get there, fast and in a hurry! The next major step in the process is to assemble a select group of faculty, administrators and student leadership at Grambling to visit the country and engage in detailed discussions about specific programs and options for a partnership with the university.”