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"A warm welcome to all Graduate Students who are embarking on the start of this academic year."
The University of the West Indies is very conscious of the critical importance of a strong, research-centred group of graduate students who can increase the body of knowledge and make seminal contributions in their particular fields. In recent years, we have been able to negotiate assistance from international organizations for a very limited number of fellowships and bursaries. In order to fund those of our students who have excelled in their undergraduate programmes and who are well qualified to move into graduate work. But we are very conscious that there is need for increased assistance in this area, and we also recognise that a University is judged on the quality of the research, which it generates.
So, as we continue in our efforts to identify sources of financial assistance for research, we would remind those of you who are the present beneficiaries of funding, either through the great sacrifices of your parents or through the limited number of scholarships available, that you are among the very privileged few who have the opportunity to undertake graduate work. So, as I congratulate you on the quality of your work, which has enabled you to move into graduate research, I urge you never to lose sight of the fact that In this region, which is part of the developing world, we all have a responsibility, not only to give back to those coming behind, who will need our support, but also to understand our obligation to use our skills and knowledge to improve the society that has nurtured us and brought us to where we are today. My very best wishes for a challenging and exciting year of work.
(Message published in 2003 as Vice Chancellor)