Delivering his 2015/2016 report to the University Council on Thursday, UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles said there will be a fourth landed campus in Antigua. The current campuses of The UWI are Mona, Jamaica; Cave Hill, Barbados; and St Augustine, Trinidad.
He said the Antiguan Government has taken a major historic decision to transform a Community College to a University and asked if their campus could be within the UWI family.
The campus will be located in a village called Five Islands.
Beckles said there is a plan to expand national colleges to universities throughout the region.
“By enabling some of these better equipped national colleges to University colleges and to do so within the context of the UWI family is very good for us,” he said.
“Those who cannot move long distances must move short distances,” he said.
“And this is a structure we are working with, the open campus plus national colleges plus campuses constituting a structure of higher education that will enable us to build capacity and reduce cost.”
He said The UWI also received a letter from the Minister of Education in Jamaica stating that their policy is to allow community colleges and teacher’s colleges that are ready to come under the tutelage of The UWI and The UWI network
“We are working with two or three of the colleges to transform them into colleges of the UWI. So that in the future the architecture of the UWI would be landed campuses, open campuses and affiliated university colleges and that would be the structure to build capacity going forward and reduce costs,” he said.
Beckles said the global strategy is to have a UWI presence on every continent except Antartica in the next five years.
“We are building out our footprint. We have already established our facility in North America in New York, we are working aggressively on Mexico, Colombia, we are working on Europe and we have just signed an agreement with South Africa and now the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos will be visiting at Mona in three weeks’ time to look at Centre for Caribbean studies in Lagos and of course we are in China,” he said.
The China link is with respect to the software engineering programme where students doing the BSc in Mona and Cave Hill will complete years one and two at UWI and years three and four at the Global Institute for Software Engineering in China.
“We have written to all the governments to ask them to please find a way to fund these few students. This is going to be a new generation of software engineers and this is what this region needs, mobile application software engineering, young people trained in Chinese technology, a year’s internship in the technology park, this is revolutionary. We would like the Governments and Private Sector to step up and help to fund these young people,” he said.
He revealed that Jiangshu University, the third largest public University in China, is partnering with UWI in this programme.