Universities are not built to serve themselves, but to service communities and nations.
This assertion from pro-vice chancellor and principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hall Campus, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, as he noted that the university was ready to move ahead with plans for a campus in The City.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the tertiary institution’s 50th anniversary celebrations, he said: “We are now looking to the future and we intend to intensify the efficiency with which we deploy the scarce resources at our campus.
“We intend to further reduce our dependency on the Government in terms of its contributions to our operational costs, and we’re committed to further reducing the cost of the operation of our campus. We also intend to make some fundamental structural changes, first of these the unrolling of the science and technology initiatives in the Strategic Plan 2012-2017,” he told an audience at the Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination last evening.
The principal noted that in the last decade, the campus had rolled out its social sciences strategic plan, in recognition of the fact that the local and sub-regional economy was services-based and driven.
“We are now in the second stage where we are going to be rolling out the science and technology initiative to turn this campus further and further into the horizon of technology and science, because we believe that where the future is going to be.
“The research university; the graduate university; the entrepreneurial university. I can assure you that five years from now what you will see is a very different Cave Hill Campus, driven by its research, fundamentally a graduate school and driven by an entrepreneurial impulse of self sufficiency,” he told an audience that included Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Minister of Education and Human Resources Development Ronald Jones.
Sir Hilary explained that UWI would be looking to deepen their relationship with the private sector, which, according to him was already mature and respected.
“ . . . And we will see a campus more deeply imbedded in industry and pushing innovation with those investors of wealth. There are a few small projects on the horizon. As you are all aware, the Sagicor Corporation has agreed to donate its old headquarters building at the end of Broad Street to the Campus. The Old Mutual Building as it is called, will become the heart of the Cave Hill Campus City enterprise.
“The moving of the campus into The City and the rolling out of The City Campus will see again a transformation of what is the Cave Hill Campus. We were very pleased that the Prime Minister . . . in your manifesto in the last election that you placed as a manifesto pledge, that the vacant NIS Building in Bridgetown will also be given to the university for the City Campus . . . . We are ready to take possession of the building . . . so that we can really create a City campus and bring Bridgetown into the modern world,” he asserted. (RG)