The UWI continues to work toward the goal of at least one university graduate in each and every household in the Caribbean, equipped to meet the needs of their communities and the wider region. Enhancing The UWI’s distance and online learning capacities are crucial in achieving this goal, along with connecting to community colleges and tertiary education programmes across the region.
New Office of Online Learning
The Open Campus was established in 2008 to develop online and distance learning, as well as other pedagogical technologies to reach underserved areas of the Caribbean community. From September 2015, the Open Campus Task Force (http://www.uwi.edu/opentaskforce/), chaired by Prof. Alvin Wint, examined ways to maximize the Campus’ capability, in terms of its governance, finance, structure, strategies, and integration, particularly in relation to the proposed Colleges of The UWI (CUWI) system.
The final report of the task force was submitted to the Vice-Chancellor with the following outcomes:
An Office of Online Learning (OOL) is to be established within the Regional Headquarters.
The OOL would lead online programme development and be the body to which campuses submit their requests for approval of online programmes.
This Office would initially be staffed by persons who are currently in Academic Programming and Delivery (APAD) and it should have a Director who reports to the Vice-Chancellor through a Board or an Online Committee of the Board for Undergraduate Studies and Board for Graduate Studies, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor or his nominee.
Campuses would have representation on the oversight body and each campus should have a Campus Coordinator for Online Learning who would work with the OOL in channelling and developing proposals.
The Coordinating Unit for the Single Virtual University Space (SVUS) project would operate within this new office, under a revised designation.
College of The UWI (CUWI) System
The UWI has invited all governments already committed to establishing a university college, to do so within The UWI system, and will work with these institutions to facilitate this process. The University will connect to all interested and qualified community colleges and tertiary education programmes in the region, offering them our robust support for advanced teaching and learning.
An implementation team chaired by the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, has been established, to lead the development of the CUWI System—offering students of diverse background and ages access to quality tertiary education in their local context, improving and expanding access to higher education across the region.
Listening to Our Youth
The UWI is committed to engaging and empowering the Caribbean's youth and facilitating opportunities for their voices to be heard on issues that affect the region.
Caribbean Youth Speak
In July 2015, The UWI hosted an historic meeting between the Secretary-General of the United Nations and youth of the region, held in person at the Cave Hill Campus and accessible simultaneously by video-conference at the Mona, St. Augustine, and Open Campus sites across the region.
The Secretary General took the time to engage university students and representatives of youth organizations across the region on the theme "Caribbean Youth Speak: The World We Want Post-2015", on a range of pressing issues, including youth unemployment, non-communicable diseases, gender equality, gender violence, climate change, vulnerabilities of small island states, alternative sources of energy, and education.
Town Hall Meeting with Youth
The UWI was pleased, in July 2016, to host a conversation with the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland, QC at The UWI Regional Headquarters. Attended by more than 200 young people, the meeting sought to engage Caribbean youth to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges. According to Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, "The world is facing enormous challenges; we need you to be part of the solution."
Commonwealth Secretary-General's Town Hall meeting with Caribbean Youth
The town hall followed a five-day workshop at The UWI Mona Campus centred around Goal #11 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: “What can our generation of the Commonwealth do now to make our cities more inclusive and safe by 2030?” Participants were immersed in a series of activities to understand some of the world’s most pressing issues and work in groups to develop solutions. The July 8 Town Hall brought the week to a close; giving participants the chance to present their ideas to the Secretary-General as she searches for exciting new initiatives to champion on the global stage.
UWI-Youth Development Programme
On International Youth Day, August 12, 2016, The University of the West Indies launched The UWI-Youth Development Programme (UWI-YDP). Established as a project within the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, the UWI-YDP’s vision is to become a clear advocate for youth development at The University, responding to the needs of young people and youth organizations in the Caribbean.