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Contributing governments approve UWI’s 2013-2015 operating budgets

Contributing governments approve UWI’s 2013-2015 operating budgets

Contributing governments approve UWI’s 2013-2015 operating budgets

[UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica] - The 2013 meetings of the Campus and University Grants Committees (CGC/UGC) were convened on Wednesday 27th March at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad to discuss budget approvals from contributing governments of UWI’s Biennial Estimates 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, which were presented earlier in the year

Contributing governments approve UWI’s 2013-2015 operating budgets

[UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica] - The 2013 meetings of the Campus and University Grants Committees (CGC/UGC) were convened on Wednesday 27th March at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad to discuss budget approvals from contributing governments of UWI’s Biennial Estimates 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, which were presented earlier in the year to respective Technical Advisory Committees (TAC) for consideration.
 
In his opening remarks Vice-Chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris acknowledged the tremendous support given to the University by the contributing governments even in financially trying times, as he reiterated the University’s commitment to reducing dependence on government funding —“We recognise the challenges regional governments are facing in light of the current global economic crisis. In this context, our 2012-17 Strategic Plan, calls for the identification of alternative means of funding the University enterprise.”  The Vice-Chancellor further encouraged the continued convergence of the institution, contributing governments and community representatives to ensure the survival of the regional University, noting that any weakening of The UWI would severely affect the region’s chances for sustainability in this global maelstrom.
 
The day’s agenda included presentations from Pro Vice-Chancellors & Campus Principals – Sir Hilary Beckles, Professor The Hon Gordon Shirley, Professor Clement Sankat and Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald – on the significant achievements of each campus in the last year and its contributions to Caribbean development through teaching, research and outreach activities, followed by presentations of the reports of Technical Advisory Committees on the University’s estimated operational expenditures for the next two year period. Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Research, Professor Wayne Hunte, also presented far-reaching commentary on The UWI’s service to the region through research and highlighted some critical research being conducted by teams across the institution in areas which are positioned to make a significant impact on the region — Cancer, Hydroponic/Greenhouse research, Renewable Energy, Climate Change, Early Childhood Development and Violence against women and children among many others.
 
In response, representatives of contributing countries expressed their satisfaction with the University’s achievements, operations and financial management processes. There was consensus with regard to the critical role that the UWI plays in its service to the region. The representatives underscored their own understanding that even hefty external financial support could not in dollars and cents equal the value of the contribution made by the University to the development of the region. The estimated expenditure for the continued functioning of the University for the biennium 2013-2015 was judged ‘reasonable’ and supported in principle, subject to the outcome of allocations for higher education in several countries’ national budgets. 
 
The University and Campus Grants Committee meetings were chaired by Honourable Finance Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Mr Winston Dookeran, The Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education, Science, Technology & Innovation, Barbados, The Hon Rev Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education, Jamaica, The Hon Fazal Karim, Minister of Tertiary Education & Skills Training, Trinidad and Tobago and  The Hon Petter St Jean, Minister of Education and HRD, Dominica respectively, and included other regional Ministers of Finance, Education and representatives from the contributing countries, as well as Permanent Secretaries and members of UWI’s senior management team.  The 2013 meetings, organised by the UWI Office of Finance, represented the last round of such meetings to be held in Trinidad & Tobago. In 2014, these meetings will move to Jamaica.

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