UWItv: A game changer in Caribbean education and public outreach

The UWI Regional Headquarters Jamaica. 26 November 2016 – The UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles announced the launch of UWItv, a new multimedia public information and education service. UWItv is set to go live on December 1, 2016 – initially with three hours of programming per day, showcasing a diversity of UWI-owned content.

This tripartite partnership involving The University of the West Indies, CaribVision  (the regional cable service of the Caribbean Media Corporation) and the RJR Group in Jamaica, will deliver UWI programming to millions of viewers in 22 Caribbean country markets as well as the large Caribbean Diaspora communities in New York, Toronto, Montreal, London and Europe.

UWItv’s cable service will be complemented by a robust web and social presence, allowing users to access content in real time or on demand. The UWItv website will also offer a vast searchable video database which will serve as an invaluable resource for students, scholars, librarians, researchers, documentarians and journalists throughout the region and across the world.

Speaking at the media launch event hosted at The Cave Hill Campus on Friday 25 November, 2016, Vice-Chancellor Beckles described UWItv as a demonstrable outcome of partnerships between industry and academia which forms part of the Triple A Vision outlined in the University’s new strategic direction:  alignment between industry and academia for wealth creation and distribution; expansion of access to tertiary education and increased agility to global opportunities.

He outlined the various segments that will be featured on the new media platform that would “capture the voices of all of The UWI.” These will include: Region talk – which places The UWI at the centre of the conversations about regional issues and challenges facing the region; student-produced programming as well as the latest research output of the regional institution.

According to Sir Hilary, “This changes the global identity of our university. It allows us for the first time to discuss our Caribbean civilisation with the world”. He went on to add that this was a transformative initiative, deeply rooted as a “One UWI” project, and poised to drive regionalism through solution-based discourse and public education.

Don Rojas, executive director of the UWI-TV project, said  “We are now in a new phase of television.  Technology has enabled us to view programming on a variety of platforms.  It has compelled us to create programming more quickly and more efficiently. We at UWI have decided to use the opportunity that these new technologies offer, to share ideas, to dig deeper, think broader, reach higher for our understanding of our region and our world, to forge ahead with a pantheon of ideas.  For us at UWI-TV, “the medium is the message”.

UWI-TV can be seen in prime time during the evenings beginning on Dec. 1 in the New York metro area on the Caribvision channel of Cablevision. Programmes can also be viewed on the Internet at www.uwitv.org.