A FORMER GOVERNMENT’S concern about whether funding of the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Cave Hill Campus was a burden to the state and should be reduced was dismissed by a noted educator appointed to carry out a probe.
And now, years after the commission of inquiry, principal Sir Hilary Beckles is lauding that position taken by educator and jurist Sir Roy Marshall, named by the Tom Adams Government to head the investigation.
Sir Hilary spoke about the commission while delivering the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) public lecture to mark its 56th anniversary.The UWi pro-vice-chancellor spoke on the topic How Sustainable Is The Barrow Vision For Tertiary Education Funding In Barbados at the Frank Collymore Hall last Thursday.
In a speech that highlighted the paucity of funding for the university in its early days, Sir Hilary said: “There were also those moments when the Adams Government was of the view that even in its crippled state it [Cave Hill] was too expensive for Barbados and efforts were made to reduce it even further.”
Sir Hilary said he recalled “very well” when the Adams administration had established a commission of inquiry into the Cave Hill Campus’ funding. Sir Roy was chairman of that commission and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Government was worried about whether the Barbados campus was a burden to the nation.
“His report was clear,” Sir Hilary said.
“He told the Adams Government that the Cave Hill Campus was grossly and severely under-funded and rather than it be a burden upon this nation, it is a liability because it is crippled by financial shortages and ought to be empowered to serve the purpose for which it was established.
“That report was a brilliant report written by a brilliant man who saw what the agenda was.”
Sir Hilary also said the private sector was not engaged in the funding of the university and it was the international donors that made a greater contribution to the campus.
According to Sir Hilary, former Cave Hill Campus principal Sir Keith Hunte, who brought in the international donors, and the late administrator Sir Sydney Martin were “given a basket to carry water”.
“Cave Hill had to reflect the thinking of some of the finest minds that this country has produced and in our judgement the Right Excellent Errol Barrow and Sir Cameron Tudor . . . had not envisioned such a campus,” Sir Hilary said.