DEPUTY PRINCIPAL of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus Professor Clive Landis says the UWI needs to regain its esteem and respect in the community.
Landis said today the university was sometimes seen to be distant from the community and he stressed the institution was not there to serve itself. He advocated continuation of the kind of community outreach in which the university is engaging during Barbados’ 50th anniversary of independence.
Speaking at the media launch of Barbados at 50: National Values Assessment 2016 Study promoted by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at the beginning of the 50th anniversary celebrations, Landis said: “The university is here to serve the country and the region in tackling its problems and in helping development.”
Landis said the research was “of special importance” as the island took a look back at its past and planned for the future. He warned the university must not lose its international reputation for academic research.
The UWI Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) is conducting the $80 000 study over a 16-week period.
Back in January, Prime Minister Stuart posed three questions to Barbados that he said called for introspection:
- What features of Barbadian life have we lost that we need to reclaim?
- What features of Barbadian life have we not lost that we need to retain?
- What features of Barbadian life we have not lost that we need to discard as quickly as possible?
In her feature address Minister of Labour and deputy chairman of the 50th anniversary of Independence Celebrations Co-coordinating Committee, Senator Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, said it was hoped the study would provide “empirical based answers” to many questions about the Barbadian society.
The findings would also serve to inform government policy, she added.
Byer-Suckoo said such an exercise would assist government in charting a path forward and would assist in the future development of the island and she thanked the UWI for “fully embracing Barbados’ 50th anniversary of independence.
“By conducting this study, you will once again help us to examine ourselves and in so doing position ourselves and our country for the future,” Byer-Suckoo said.
Head of SALISES Dr Don Marshall pointed out the study was not merely an academic exercise. It will target a sample group of 12 000 or more from 15 years and up and would examine areas such as values in the society. (GC)