UWI top foreign exchange earner
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 20, CMC – Principal and Pro-vice Chancellor of the Cave Hill campus University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles said on Friday that the institution’s medical faculty is one of Barbados’ top foreign exchange earners.
Speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Barbados government and the University to formalise a framework in the areas of training, infrastructural support and facilities, Sir Hilary said that since 2009, the faculty had generated BDS$46.4 million (One Barbados dollar =US$0.50 cents) in fees from Barbadian and international students.
He said in addition to the fees, the faculty had also received substantial funds for research grants and other activities totalling US$20 million.
Sir Hilary said the BDS$25 million expansion of the medical faculty was the Cave Hill Campus’ first entrepreneurial project.
“This is the first large scale commercial project that UWI at Cave Hill has undertaken. The mandate of the Council of the University which is made up of all of the governments… [is] that we must be entrepreneurial, we must be innovative, we must use resources through the private sector, we must get involved in commercial activity and generate revenue.
“We operated on the basis of a business model that we would attract students from all over the world who would come here, pay their fees, pay their economic costs and allow the revenues to demonstrate not only the sustainability of the project but its profitability,” Sir Hilary said.
Sir Hilary said that the faculty’s success should not only be measured financially but academically as well, since the first cohort of graduates were so outstanding that they established new university records and standards for student performances in the areas of distinctions and honours.
He told those at the signing that the MOU was the expression of a best practice.
“We are committed as a university to the health care sector, its teaching, its research, public outreach and partnering with the Ministry of Health. It is a best practice between the Government, the private sector and the UWI community on a whole,” he added.
The Barbados government recently announced that it would stop paying tuition fees for Barbados students.
Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Chris Sinckler in his 2013-14 budget presentation, said that effective 2014, Barbadian students pursuing studies at the university’s three campuses would be required to pay their own tuition fees, while the government continues to fund economic costs.
Sinckler said the tuition fees range from BDS$5,625 to BDS$65,000 and that the new policy would reduce the transfer to UWI by an estimated BDS$42 million a year.