Unlike the main campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus, the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) is singing a sweet song as it relates to enrolment.
Although the numbers are small, the research centre has reported a two-thirds increase in registration this year, with the number of students pursuing post-graduate studies jumping to 15 from nine last year.
Last week principal of the Cave Hill Campus Eudine Barriteau reported a dramatic drop in the number of students pursing graduate and undergraduate studies at that institution.
However, speaking to Barbados TODAY this week in relation to the CERMES enrolment, Director Dr Adrian Cashman said, “unlike the rest of the university our numbers have gone up this year . . . so we are doing something right there.”
CERMES, which will celebrate 30 years of operation next year, started out offering post-graduate programmes in coastal and marine management studies only. However, it introduced post-graduate programmes in climate change and water resources management in 2000.
Cashman said he was hoping the institution could see further increases in enrolment over the coming years.
“I would like to see that number up around 20 because it is good for us in that it promotes the group dynamic; the learning between the students and with the academics and the other staff as well. So I would like to see even more,” he said.
He attributed the increase to the number of people taking an interest in research studies and to “fairly aggressive” marketing of the institution.
Insisting that “nobody else within the university of the West Indies offers the course of study that we offer”, Dr Cashman said he wanted to raise the centre’s profile and to make it a household name.
“I want to get to the stage where we have name recognition not just in Barbados but across the Caribbean as well. So when I say CERMES people say ‘yes, I know CERMES and you do great work’. That is what we want to get to. It will take a while but we believe we are getting there,” said an upbeat Cashman.
Acknowledging that “we are living in interesting times”, he recommended that the university could do more in terms of reaching out to partners beyond the Government and move beyond the “business-as-usual” mode.
“We have to look at the opportunities, look at the experiences we have had in the past and think beyond what we have done before. Business as usual is not going to serve us well. We need to do more with less and I believe technologies and the communication abilities that we have we can actually do that.”
However, he conceded that it was costly to attend CERMES, adding that it was “not cheap” to study at the University of the West Indies.
He disclosed that improvements were being made on some of the existing programmes with the aim of introducing new ones.
“As from this year we have brought in the renewable energy masters programme which we are working with out partners to see how we can properly incorporate it within the CERMES family,” Dr Cashman said. (MM)