New campus ‘no problem’
The proposed establishment of a fourth UWI campus in Antigua will not affect the enrolment at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus.
That is the view of Minister of Education Ronald Jones, who believes that students from that island, as well as from the other Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will still continue to choose the Barbadian university.
He said as he understood it, the new campus would be a constituent college, which meant the UWI would have some oversight of its various programmes, direction, and would also use some of its syllabi.
“Antigua had the Antigua State College, and now, as far as I am aware, it has become a constituent college of the UWI. I believe that one or two others will follow that particular model because the whole emphasis is on raising standards throughout the region,” Jones told the SATURDAY SUN while at the 2017 Chinese Ambassador’s Awards at the Chinese Embassy, Golf Road, Christ Church, yesterday evening.
“The UWI is a unique brand and has tried to maintain high standards and, therefore, the various state colleges and those kinds of things; being constituent colleges of the UWI, one can see major upliftment in standards and cross fertilisation, so that is not going to affect the efficacy of the UWI as a brand.
“There are students who will still come here and there are students who will leave the state college and also do post-graduate programmes across the UWI systems, so I don’t see any reason for concern,” he added.
However, Jones said there was a need for the UWI to start looking to attract students outside of the region.
He named Africa as one location where he believed the UWI could target interested people.
“What I think, though, has to happen is that Caribbean tertiary institutions, of course led by the UWI, have to reach in to other parts of the world, such as Africa to which there should be a natural affinity,” the minister suggested.
“We can’t only look to harvest students within the region, but we also need to look to harvest students from beyond the region and from whatever shores they might come.” (RB)