The UWI seeks modern, cost- effective and efficient means to extend its reach, granting access not just to participating Caribbean territories but to communities and partners across the world.
Cognisant of the expectations and responsibilities placed on it as the region's number one ranked higher education institution, The UWI seeks modern, cost- effective and efficient means to extend its reach, granting access not just to participating Caribbean territories but to communities and partners across the world. The UWI continues to restructure and re-engineer itself, its systems, operations and ideologies, transforming itself from a multi-campus academy into a 21st century university system.
Standing upon the Access pillar, The UWI is becoming a university for all, the first choice for alumni and non- alumni who seek its products and services. Its teaching, learning and student improvement are constantly evolving, while the quality, quantity and impact of its research, innovation and publication add to its respect and recognition among the best universities in the world.
In June 2019, the University Council's approval for the establishment of a campus in Antigua and Barbuda was announced. The intent of the new campus is to serve the development agendas of the OECS, contributing to the development of the higher education and professional training sectors.
In recent years, the countries of the OECS have registered some of the highest economic growth rates in the region. However, they have also recorded the lowest rates of enrolment in tertiary education, reflected in high youth unemployment rates.
The UWI Five Islands provides an opportunity for corrective action through the establishment of a 21st century, fit-for-purpose campus, with a focus on the robust expansion of the region's social capital. The new campus presents citizens of the OECS with new opportunities to access higher education at a lower cost>and a mechanism to enhance the academic culture and radically upscale the professional training system for development.
In the context of its Triple A Strategy, an enhanced digital presence is The UWI's primary means of exponentially increasing its enrolment to meet its target of 65,000 by 2022. The University is working on a strategy and creating the enabling operational environment to steer it rapidly into the global online market, while maintaining its commitment to serving and expanding regional access to online programmes.
Through a single, unified, global online presence - UWI Global Online - The UWI will seek to capture a share of the lucrative international e-learning market by extending specially tailored online offerings to targeted locations globally.
In preparation for this global online initiative, to be launched in academic year 2020/2021, the University is currently reviewing and rationalising its online framework to ensure that it results in an operating model that adequately supports both regional and global strategies.
The UWI Office of Online Learning, led by Mrs. Pauline Cobley, is spearheading this initiative.
The UWI continues to stride into the 21st century, increasing its reach beyond the region, and offering world-class educational opportunities in more countries through its partnerships and global centres. During the reporting period, several new partnerships were forged.
In April 2019, The UWI signed an agreement with Canada's Brock University, opening discussions about the establishment of a Canada-Caribbean Institute. At the same time, two existing MOUs were renewed, to promote international and intercultural understanding and academic linkages and enrich the cultural understanding of both universities.
In April 2019, The UWI established its first physical presence in South America, hosted at the Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes) in Bogota, Colombia. After more than three decades of inactivity, the association between The UWI and Uniandes resumed in an exciting and promising sustainable relationship with the Strategic Partnership for Hemispheric Development. The agreement, brokered by the Latin American Caribbean Centre (LACC) Director, Ambassador Gillian Bristol, was signed on behalf of The UWI by Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr. Luz Longsworth and on behalf of Uniandes by then Rector, Dr. Pablo Navas Sanz de Santamaria.
The administrative office of this strategic partnership will be housed at the Office for International Affairs at Uniandes, Bogota.
Prior to the signing of the MOU, meetings were held to define areas of collaboration, particularly in the fields of medical sciences and cultural studies. The UWI Faculties of Medical Sciences (FMS) were represented by Dr. Tomlin Paul and Dr. Winston De La Haye, Dean and Deputy Dean respectively, at The UWI Mona Campus. Dr. Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, Director, Institute for Cultural Studies and Reggae Unit, also from UWI Mona, led the talks on cultural studies programmes. Areas of mutual interest identified included research related to zebra fish, medical student internships, Spanish language immersion programmes, and comparative cultural studies. A master's degree in Global Comparative Cultural Studies has been developed by Dr. Stanley- Niaah in consultation with the Institutes for Cultural Studies at the St. Augustine and Cave Hill campuses and is currently under review with a view to its launch in September 2020.
In July 2019, The UWI shaped history as it framed the first-ever Caribbean initiative in reparatory justice in partnership with the University of Glasgow (UoG). The universities agreed to establish the Glasgow- Caribbean Centre for Development Research, which, through reparatory-oriented policy research, will address the legacies of slavery and colonialism, such as persistent poverty and extreme inequality in economic relations, chronic disease proliferation, educational inadequacies, and related inhibiting factors adversely impacting economic growth and social justice in the region.
The Centre is the first institution within British university history that is dedicated to the slavery reparations policy framework. It was initiated with £20 million to fund research to promote development initiatives to be jointly undertaken over the next two decades. The sum of £20 million represents the present day value of the amount paid to slave owners as reparations by the British government when it abolished slavery in 1834.
The Centre's Board of Directors is co-chaired by Professor Simon Anderson, distinguished Jamaican scientist and Director of the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre at The UWI Cave Hill Campus; and the accomplished Professor William Cushley from Glasgow University. The Board also consists of six senior persons from each university, including the co-chairs. The UWI directors are Pro Vice-Chancellors Stefan Gift and Clive Landis as well as Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah, Professor Verene Shepherd, and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.
At the inaugural meeting, which discussed the research and project development agenda for the Centre, it was agreed that the Centre's activities in its first ten-year phase will focus on three pillars:
It was also agreed that in addition to project development and applied research, funding would be available for relevant reparations-oriented teaching programmes.
In establishing these new international collaborations, The UWI continues to make good on its promise to bring its superior academic offerings to a broad global audience. These partnerships are proudly added to those established in earlier reporting periods, such as the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology; the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
The collaboration between The UWI and SUNY (University of Buffalo, Upstate) was rewarded with a five-year grant of US$1.1 million for the Global Infectious Diseases Research Training Programme by the National Institutes of Health, Fogarty Award. This initiative, led jointly by The UWI Mona Campus' Professor John Lindo and Professor Gene Morse of SUNY University of Buffalo, is a significant achievement for the health sector in Jamaica and the Caribbean. It facilitated the continued growth of the SUNY-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development (CLSD) in that arena.
The programme was launched at The UWI Regional Headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica in November 2018 and in February 2019 in New York at the SUNY Global Center. Special guest presenter at the New York event was Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of Sustainable Development, Solutions Network, Columbia University.
Guided by its mission to actively engage the Caribbean Diaspora community, CLSD hosted its second Community Engagement Series: “The Caribbean Music Industry 2019: What's Next for Dance Hall and the New Breakout Artist?”. Keynote speaker, Dr. Carolyn Cooper, Professor Emeritus, The UWI, was ably supported by a panel of industry practitioners and experts including popular Dance Hall artiste, Carlton Grant aka Spragga Benz; Cristy Barber, artiste and manager; and Robert 'Bobbie' Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Media Group.
This outreach was followed by a Caribbean film series that featured five films of Caribbean origin that focused on major economic, social and cultural issues that impact the livelihood and well-being of the citizens of the different island nations. They were screened between June and November in different locations across the state of New York. Audiences were treated to a rare opportunity to interact with some of the producers/ directors of these films, such as Stephanie Black and Dr. Keith Nurse, who produced Life & Debt and Forward Home respectively.
A highlight of the year was the hosting of the Climate Action Symposium held at the SUNY Center, which aimed to energise partnership commitments, maximise synergies and globalise coordinated action to combat climate change. At this occasion, The UWI and SUNY also launched its novel Advanced Certificate in Leadership for Sustainable Development postgraduate programme, which is jointly delivered by SUNY Empire State and the UWI Open Campus under the auspices of CLSD. A major milestone for the Center, this programme is the first academic offering from the SUNY-UWI collaboration, with a master's programme slated to follow suit by fall 2020. It is designed to build human capacity in SDGs by providing a practical programme for persons engaged in environmental, community, public and private sector leadership. The five-course programme offers dual certification by both universities, which will enhance its global portability.
The operation of the Center is now co-managed/directed by Dr. Latasha Brown of SUNY Empire State and Ms. Ann-Marie Grant of the American Foundation for The UWI along with virtual technical support from Kevin Manning, of The UWI Cave Hill Campus, while Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus and Ms. Sally Crimmins Villea, Associate Vice- Chancellor for Global Affairs, SUNY, continue to provide direct oversight on behalf of their respective universities.
The UWI St. Augustine Campus continues its major expansion into central and south Trinidad, creating a Medical Education Artery running from Mount Hope in the north, to Couva in central Trinidad, to Penal-Debe in the south, both facilities provided for by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
In mid-2019, approval was sought from the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) to expand programme offerings to The UWI St. Augustine South Campus, Penal-Debe. This expansion is an opportunity for The UWI to increase Access, consistent with the Triple A Strategy.
The ACTT granted approval for the delivery of programmes from the Faculties of Humanities and Education, Medical Sciences, Food and Agriculture, and Science and Technology. In addition to these faculty offerings, the UWI subsidiary, UWI-ROYTEC, will relocate its southern operations to the Penal-Debe site and will offer a suite of management and education programmes to its south-based students.
Beginning in the 2020/2021 academic year, it is anticipated that UWI St. Augustine will welcome the first cohort of 600 students to the Penal-Debe site, the majority of whom will be reading programmes offered in the evenings and on Saturdays.
The Couva Medical and Multi-Training Facility Limited (CMMFL) is a special purpose company incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in July 2018, with a broad remit to facilitate the operationalisation of the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility (CHMF). The Board of the CMMFL comprises representatives of The UWI and the Ministries of Health and Finance, acting on behalf of the government. The CHMF site is located off the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway at Preysal in Couva. The hospital will be run as a modern, innovative, and IT-driven medical facility. The training facility of approximately 8,000 square metres has been leased to the UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences to house the Schools of Optometry, Pharmacy and Nursing.
The re-launch of The UWI's physical presence in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) was marked by a site relaunch/ribbon-cutting ceremony in Providenciales on Friday, March 15, 2019.
A large cross-section of the public, including the Premier, The Hon. Sharlene Cartwright- Robinson and other government, education and visiting university officials, attended the ceremony at the Town Centre Mall. The programme was chaired by the manager for The UWI Open Campus British Overseas Territories, Dr. Phyllis Fleming-Banks, who has responsibility for the Turks and Caicos Islands, and featured remarks from the Director of The UWI Open Campus Country Sites, Dr. Francis Severin, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, and the Honourable Minister for Education, Mrs. Karen Adams-Malcolm. Also on hand for the occasion was the Chair of the Open Campus Council, Her Excellency, Ambassador Dr. June Soomer.
The UWI Open Campus Site was previously located on Grand Turk, before closing a few years ago. The relaunch, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services, is in keeping with the TCI government and the University's commitment to improving Access to tertiary education.
The establishment of the Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts was approved by The UWI Senate and is set to begin operations from August 1, 2020. The new Faculty will be driven by a focus on deepening critical studies of Caribbean culture and identity as well as global economic imperatives that centre the creative industry within the academy. The Government of Barbados has prioritised the Creative Economy as a key plank in its national development strategy and on this basis, had endorsed the Cave Hill initiative and pledged full support for collaborations.
The Faculty of Sport entered its second year in 2018–2019. The faculty spent the first year establishing regulations and modifying University ordinances to define itself, and the second year saw the start of academic programmes, bolstering existing programmes and spreading programmes across all campuses. New programmes for the following academic year were also formulated and passed through the scrutiny of the University's quality control process. A Curriculum Development Specialist joined the Dean's Office to guide this process.
New Heads of Academies of Sport were appointed in two Academies. Mr. Kervin Jean was appointed Head of the Open Campus Academy of Sport, who came with a strong background in Sport Policy. Professor Emeritus Funso Aiyejina joined as acting Head of the St. Augustine Academy of Sport. His institutional knowledge has assisted immensely in shaping the structure of that Academy.
On the playing field, the Faculty was instrumental in some historic events, especially in cricket. The Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) cricket team created history by winning the Regional 50 Over Competition. This was followed by victory in The UWI World Universities T20 Tournament, put on by the Faculty of Sport.
The Faculty's footballers and track and field athletes continued to perform well in local competitions, with many representing their countries internationally. All other sports showed improvements in standings in their respective competitions. The Faculty signed an MOU with the Argentine Football Association through the Argentine Embassy in Barbados, which will allow the exchange of coaches and players. This MOU opens the door for a CCC Football team. Additionally, collaboration with coaches and player exchange would enhance offerings to our players and coaches.
In the period under review, it was also agreed that Cricket West Indies (CWI) will offer its Level II coaching programmes through The UWI following the setting up of the syllabus and course delivery modules. This was previously executed by a partnership between CWI and the English Cricket Board.
The Faculty commenced a fortnightly column in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper entitled “Sport Matters”.
The Community Inclusion Project, aided by a grant from the CDB, allowed engagement of youth from the Cane Farm community of Trinidad and the August Town community of Jamaica. This pilot project exposed youngsters from 9 to 16 years to the values and ethics of sports. It counselled them to vocational opportunities in and around sport, as well as giving an opportunity to mingle and compete with some of the top sportsmen and sportswomen in the region.
Another portion of the CDB grant was used to launch the Regional Emerging Athlete Development programme. National sporting organisations around the region nominated an athlete, from among whom three were selected for the programme. The athletes, accompanied by their coaches had extensive baseline medical and sports science testing done in Barbados, following which individualised programmes were forwarded to their coaches. The athletes will be retested in the next academic year to monitor their progress.
The Faculty also launched the Pace Like Fire programme scouting fast bowlers. Testing was conducted in multiple sites in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Lucia, Barbados and Jamaica in which fast bowlers were invited to bowl balls, the speed of which was measured using a radar gun. The top twenty were then assessed by an expert panel of elite coaches, and were taken into a camp at Cave Hill for intensive baseline testing and programmes to enhance their bowling technique. The entire process was filmed by Flow Sports working in conjunction with UWItv, and was aired as a multi-episode series on Flow Sports.