By Dominica News Online,
Antigua and Barbuda is now the home of the University of the West Indies fourth landed campus which is envisaged to serve as a hub for the OECS.
The Vice Chancellor of UWI, Sir Hillary Beckles made the official announcement at a press conference on Wednesday the Campus headquarters in Jamaica.
He said the decision follows a series of meetings and deliberations that started in 2017 and culminated with the University Council meeting in April 2019.
Sir Hillary said an implementation committee will now be formed in line with expectations that UWI has set to be met by the government of Antigua and Barbuda.
According to Sir Hillary, the newest campus will be officially known as the Five Islands Campus.
“Universities like UWI are not designed to serve themselves but all sections of the committee that support them,” he said.
He said Antigua’s request was a proactive, financial and ethical matter.
“…UWI will now enter the OECS headquarters with a landed campus in Antigua and Barbuda after several decades of operating in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados with a medical faculty presence in the Bahamas, ” Sir Hillary added.
According to him, the campus will also address the low level of higher education within the region.
“While in recent years the OECS has registered among the highest rates or economic growth in the region, UWI remains dissatisfied with the level of its contribution to the higher education sector and training on that community,” he added.
He said further that the OECS has registered the lowest rates of tertiary growth the Caribbean has ever seen and it is reflective in some of the highest rates of unemployment in the region.
“This contributes a real threat to sustained development in the region and the UWI family have been well concerned about it,” Sir Hillary said.
The Five Islands Campus will begin by admitting 800 students in September this year.
Sir Hillary said this is a historic moment in the development of CARICOM in not only the twin island state but the OECS and the entire region.