Nation e-Edition

Lifeblood!

Doudou Diene (left) and the Mighty Gabby (centre) after they were both awarded honorary degrees by the University of the West Indies. Looking on is UWI Chancellor Sir George Alleyne. Some of the 2012 University of the West Indies graduands. (Pictures by Sandy Pitt.) Valedictorian Jerelle Joseph accepting her first class honours degree from Cave Hill Campus registrar Jacqueline Wade. Calypsonian Justin 'Nard' Ward accepting his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Jacqueline Wade.

Sun, October 21, 2012 - 12:05 AM

Investing in the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Cave Hill Campus is the way to maintain the continued achievement of Barbadians, and Chancellor Sir George Alleyne is confident the Government will provide the large sum currently owed to Cave Hill.

The SUNDAY SUN understands the amount Government owes the Cave Hill Campus topped $150 million last week.

Sir George made the comments yesterday during the morning phase of the UWI’s two-pronged 2012 graduation ceremony in the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

“Over the years the Caribbean governments have been generous in the support of the university, but it is no secret that difficult economic circumstances have led to problems with support to this campus.

“But I have every confidence that this will be resolved expeditiously, and we have the commitments of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance to this effect,” Sir George told the graduands.

He also reiterated how important higher education was to the development of societies in the Caribbean.

“Public investment in higher education is and will be the lifeblood . . . of the knowledge-based societies and I doubt that anyone questions the role of the public sector in financing higher education. The perennial question is the level of that support.

“I have always believed that higher education results in the production of both private [and] public goods. It is a proper charge on the Government to fund that part of the enterprise responsible for public goods,” Sir George noted.

“The perennial conundrum is to determine what fraction of the cost can be attributed to production of those public goods which are critical for every society.

“No one wishes to return to the days when access to higher education was determined by the ability of the individual to pay, thus inhibiting the upward social mobility that should characterize every progressive society,” he added.

The chancellor also took time to remember the role played by Sir Carlisle Burton, who passed away a little over a month ago. He asked the graduating class to observe a minute’s silence to remember Sir Carlisle.

“I confess to missing Sir Carlisle. As much as his usual phlegmatic appearance would allow, Sir Carlisle was passionate about the role of education in the development of Barbados and the Caribbean – or rather, the people of Barbados and the Caribbean,” he said.

“He contributed to the human development of our people by his work in at least two of the more important areas for that development – health and education.

“He, like many of our founding fathers, lauded the role of universities and other institutions of higher education in national development.” (BA)

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