ONE LOVE/ ONE UWI #16 | A Message from the Vice-Chancellor

A Series from the Vice-Chancellor

“University leadership and consequently management are as much a science as they are an art.”
[Sir Alister McIntyre]

Congratulations COVID Class: 2020-21
Another exciting academic year beckons; another grand welcoming of new students and staff; another opportunity to refresh our bonds with returning students and staff; and another year to enhance The UWI’s reputation as a Times Higher Education globally-ranked TRIPLE 1% UNIVERSITY.

You have invested your confidence in The UWI. We have your back while we navigate this pandemic year together. What an education you will have within and beyond virtual and actual classrooms. This collective learning experience will strengthen us as we go forward as citizens dedicated to the mandate of building out our regional nationhood during this long and turbulent 21st century.

Science and Technology
Next week we shall be welcoming home the majority of our students from China, the first generation of UWI students who completed the BSc degree in Software Engineering from our joint institute in Suzhou (The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology). Five years ago, in agile response to the visit of President Xi Jinping to CARICOM, we established this professional Science and Technology programme in partnership with China’s Global Institute of Software Technology. The objective was to create a portal for technology transfer in artificial intelligence and software science.

It is a very relevant and innovative Science and Technology initiative. The region has a chronic shortage of skills in this area that requires our urgent attention. Combining this special China programme with our outstanding Faculty-based Science and Technology offerings, we are well on our way to solving the region’s challenges. The UWI gives thanks for the scholarship funding, received from Sagicor, National Commercial Bank, and the governments of Jamaica and Barbados, that made it possible.

Corporate Bonding: The UWI’s Next Frontier
University leadership is as much a science as it is an art. The above sub-section title was the theme of my Annual Report to the Business Meeting of University Council in May. The regional private sector is ready to further extend its structural engagement with our university as we embrace the capital markets as a primary source of development revenue in maintaining our quality and post-COVID relevance.

We have established a “Corporate Investment Committee”, co-chaired and guided by some of the finest financial minds in the region. The UWI is in good hands.

They have been very active in guiding Campus Principals and the Vice-Chancellor in respect of actualizing some major business decisions. The UWI, with their expert guidance, is strategically clearing pathways to capital markets for higher education in the region. This is where my mind is focussed; creating the new environment for the financial sustainability of the university.

A new higher education world is upon us with consequences for our development remit, financial sustainability, and quality reputation. We are highly motivated, focussed, and ready to enter it with confidence.

We are, after all, a Triple 1% globally-ranked university.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

You might be interested in