Bahamian Prime Minister urges full support for The UWI

As annual budget meetings at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) commenced on March 2, Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Dr. The Honourable Hubert Minnis urged fellow governments to invest more in the regional University for the future economic development. Addressing the Opening Ceremony for the Meetings of Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) for The UWI, Prime Minister Minnis called for an investment rather than an expenditure approach to the University.

“Allow me to make a plea to all the governments of contributing territories to make good on their subventions, particularly in these unprecedented financial times – the current and post-pandemic periods” he said. He added, “The circumstances of COVID-19 dictate that we must work together to ensure that The UWI, our internationally recognised, esteemed university stays afloat. Therefore, we must carefully plug any holes that we may have found in our regional flagship University.”

Prime Minister Minnis also congratulated The UWI on its high reputation and global development and expressed his pride in being a UWI graduate himself. Watch the Prime Minister’s full remarks here.

Critical decisions aimed at bolstering the financial sustainability of The UWI will be made as the meetings are held over March 2 & 3, 2021. They facilitate dialogue among all 17 of the University’s contributing member governments in shaping operating budgets. The gatherings hosted by the Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas this year, comprise senior government officials and permanent secretaries in the ministries responsible for tertiary education, and finance among other key stakeholders.

On the opening day of the meetings, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles delivered a presentation on a 10-point-plan currently underway for the financial sustainability of The UWI.

Cognisant of the COVID-19 realities, the 2021 edition of the TAC meetings shifted to an online-only mode, for the first time in their history. Over the two-day session, the 2021–2023 biennium budgets for The UWI’s five campuses, its Regional Headquarters, and the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) will be reviewed and recommendations made to Grants Committees. Following these TAC meetings, the University’s Grants Committees will review and approve the TACs’ recommendations and advance them to The UWI’s Annual Business Meeting of Council for final approval on April 30, 2021.