Career & Education

'Antigua's time has come'

Eastern Caribbean island petitions for UWI campus

Sunday, November 12, 2017

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The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has petitioned The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Council, chaired by Chancellor Robert Bermudez, to become the site of the university's fourth landed campus.

At a special session at The UWI regional headquarters on October 30, 2017, deputy Prime Minister Steadroy Benjamin presented his country's case, arguing that only a campus producing a diversity of human resources at a much higher level could attract the investment capital necessary to drive economic growth above the current two to three per cent growth per year.

Reference was also made to the “phenomenal impact” that the Cave Hill Campus has had on the transformation of Barbados over the past 50 years.

“Antigua and Barbuda's time has come,” the deputy PM stated.

The Council also heard from Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who indicated that ongoing conversations with the Government had reached maturity and referenced the growing perception in the Eastern Caribbean that The UWI could do more to promote development by facilitating the creation of a university community of skilled professionals, academics, research professors, and innovators.

The Vice-Chancellor traced the 70-year history of the institution from its single faculty, single campus status in 1948 to a tri-campus university with the addition of St Augustine and Cave Hill campuses in Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados respectively, in the 1960s. In the last significant restructuring, the Open Campus was established 10 years ago.

The University Council acknowledged the need to examine the proposal made by the Government of Antigua and authorised the Vice-Chancellor to establish a technical task force comprising university officials, students, and other stakeholders to conduct a feasibility study to evaluate the financial, operational and strategic viability and sustainability of the proposed campus.

The Council also delegated responsibility to the University's Finance and General Purpose Committee to determine the terms of reference and membership of the task force, provide oversight, management and monitoring of its work and prepare a submission of its findings to the next regular meeting of the Council, scheduled for April 2018.




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