The UWI sets up Corporate Investment Committee

Five years ago, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) approved as one of its strategic goals, the alignment of its operations with regional and global private sectors. The intention was to promote regional economic development specifically to roll out a road map to take the institution to bond and equity markets with bankable projects.

To guide this initiative, The UWI has just established a ‘Corporate Investment Committee’. This Committee, which resides within the Office of the Vice-Chancellor will serve as an advisory team for the University’s participation in large-scale private sector investments.

Leading the effort to restructure The UWI’s financial model is Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who is an Economic Historian, and well known in corporate Caribbean as a long-serving Director of Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited, former Director of Cable and Wireless, and Sagicor Jamaica Ltd, and current Chairman of the Caribbean Examinations Council. Working alongside him is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic-Industry Partnerships and Planning and Professor of International Business, Densil Williams.

The newly formed Committee is composed of three Co-Chairs, two members with long experience from the private sector and a UWI expert in business and management. The Committee also includes other members with expertise in business, finance and entrepreneurship from the private sector, and The UWI.

The purpose of the Committee is to provide business intelligence for projects to be taken to market and to guide the formulation of business plans and decision-making models at the University.

One of the projects before the Committee is a proposal by the St Augustine Campus, which is currently preparing a venture to establish a for-profit global medical school to take to the bond market. The proposal has been presented to and supported by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and all relevant university statutory committees, save for University Council, which will be held in two weeks.