UWI’s vice chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles (right) speaking with pro vice chancellor Professor Eudine Chancellor and director of student services Dale Lynch. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)
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Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Sir Hilary Beckles, has described the recent developments at the St Philip-based Washington University of Barbados as an embarrassment to the university sector.
Sir Hilary, who also holds the position of president of The Association of Caribbean Universities, which has a membership of over 100, said the sector was global, competitive and expansive.
“I have read the media coverage where these young people are claiming that they have an ethical right to the education they have paid for, and my heart goes out to those young people. I am in deep sympathy with them. It is unfortunate that this circumstance has developed,” he said.
Noting the UWI was a public university, dedicated to the advancement of people, he said all over the world universities are called upon to make even greater contributions than in the past [and] have evolved into being an industry.
Sir Hilary said “all types of universities were going to evolve” and he recognised the higher education system required different types of providers to make sure that societies were built out in the way they ought to be.
Pro-vice chancellor and principal of the Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau, said the institution took its reputation very seriously.
“How we maintain that reputation is through quality assurance and institutional accreditation. We guarantee quality assurance in our examination processes . . . . For our faculty we have very rigorous peer assessment processes, so to be promoted your work has to go out for external review. We have to have the student assessment of your teaching; we have to have heads of departments. In terms of the institution we do institutional accreditation, so we evaluate whether you have fitness for purpose . . . . The reputation hangs on those pillars . . . and we guard that very seriously,” she said. (RA)