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Cave Hill Campus makes SMART move

For Release Upon Receipt - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bridgetown, Barbados, W.I. Friday, July 20th, 2018—Top level Government officials have been given deeper insight into the strategic operations of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus as key stakeholders of the institution.

During a recent inter-ministerial breakfast consultation, Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Cave Hill campus Professor Eudine Barriteau, outlined several planned initiatives for transforming Barbados into a Caribbean hub for higher education. She revealed plans to integrate information technology into every facet of the university’s operations with an aim of transforming Cave Hill into a Smart Campus. She also elaborated on the aggressive pursuit of a policy of internationalisation geared towards Cave Hill campus being globally sought after as a preferred institution of higher learning.

Interministerial Web one-7-27-2018.jpgMinister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw along with Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic; Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment Adrian Forde; Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir; and Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade Sandra Husbands as well as several permanent secretaries and other senior government officials heard of the university’s plans to leverage technology to enhance the student experience, improve the campus’s internal operating processes and transform the tertiary level teaching and learning environment.

The principal also disclosed a campus long term goal of using information and communications technologies to create a seamless connection between itself and the nearby city of Bridgetown as well as the rapidly emerging Warrens metropolis. This would involve Cave Hill generating IT-based solutions to address socio-economic and other challenges in these urban, commercial districts.

Cave Hill’s aim at global engagement, which has gained significant traction through the activities of its two-year-old Confucius Institute, is set to achieve further acceleration via the campus’s internationally-acclaimed medical programme. Through aggressive marketing, the campus has set its sights on admitting US and other international students for medical training and is looking forward to receive the first cohort of Ghanaian enrollees from the 2019/20 academic year.

Acknowledging that initially medical training would be limited to preclinical teaching owing to limited hospital facilities for clinical training, Professor Barriteau recommended the establishment of an additional hospital in Barbados to offer expanded health care, serve as a teaching hospital for Cave Hill and earn revenue for the campus and country.

The ministers warmly praised the principal’s information-sharing initiative and offered suggestions on areas they deemed critical for Government and academic collaboration to support national and regional development.

Interministerial Web 2-7-27-2018.jpgMinister Husbands, a graduate of Cave Hill’s Master’s in International Trade Policy (MIPT) programme saw opportunities for the campus to work with Government in addressing the skills gap that currently hinders a more successful implementation of the country’s trade deals. She urged setting up an apprenticeship system that would see UWI students attached to trade missions abroad. She also proposed deeper tourism linkages for the campus which entailed greater involvement by local communities.

Minister Forde commended The UWI’s sports programme and urged that it be married with a fitness and wellness programme to sensitise young people of the benefits of physical activity with an aim to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases. He also spoke of the tremendous potential for young people finding employment in the nascent green and blue economies which Principal Barriteau had indicated in her presentation are ripe for accommodating several current areas of academic pursuit at the campus.

Minister Bradshaw lauded the campus’s initiatives in medical training and its rapidly expanding English as a Second Language (ESL) programme while noting the potential for improving language training at primary and secondary school levels. She welcomed the advent of The UWI Agri-business Development Park at Dukes, St. Thomas and the likely synergies between agriculture and education. She also highlighted the potential for Government and academic collaboration to boost the creative sector, including the performing arts and the campus’s demonstrable capacity to strengthen human resources for regional and global development through an export of human capital.

Minister Weir suggested that The UWI has a role to play in removing the stigma attached to agriculture and he looked forward to working collaboratively with The UWI in the further roll out of the Dukes Project. He also referenced a Zero Hunger Initiative which came out of a recently attended meeting in Guatemala and said he envisaged his ministry and The UWI developing the framework for the introduction of a Barbados chapter of this global project.

In her presentation, Professor Barriteau also gave an update on plans to revamp the Faculty of Science and Technology, advance the campus’s renewable energy programme to make Barbados a model in sustainable and renewable energy, create curriculum renewal to support relevance, innovation and entrepreneurship, launch a Faculty of Caribbean Creative Arts and Culture, establish a Centre for Biosecurity Studies and announced two upcoming symposia to examine the China Belt and Road Initiative as well as an economic analysis of the 2008 global recession ten years onwards.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados,Jamaica,Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation.

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the“The”, hence The UWI.)


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