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The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) was established in September 1974, as a Multidisciplinary research centre, just over one decade after the University of Guyana was opened on October 1, 1963.  The decision to set up this institute was based on the recommendations contained in a 1970 report by Professor Dudley Seers (the Director of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom); and in a subsequent 1971 Report by a special committee of the Academic board of the University of Guyana, chaired by Professor Clive Thomas who served as the Director for many years up until 2014, when he resigned.

The model of IDS, UG patterned that of IDS, UK which was primarily designed to preserve academic and ensure research continuity.  It is important to note that IDS, UG is neither a government department nor is it an autonomous foundation or commercial research group, completely outside of the University of Guyana Structure. It’s a full-fledged department in the Faculty of Social Sciences.