Close to 1,800 students graduated from the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies yesterday, following what Chancellor Sir George Alleyne described as “a good but trying year” for the tertiary level institution.
Addressing the class of 2015 at the gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, Sir George noted “the challenge of reduced student registration which was mitigated by “the aggressive remedial action by the principal (Professor Eudine Barriteau) and her staff”.
“There was and continues to be a serious financial challenge, but I have the expectation and the assurance that the Campus will be returned soon to financial solvency and progressive student growth,” he said.
Sir George noted that student enrollment at Cave Hill stands at 5,793 which represents a decline of 16.5 per cent from the previous year, with the majority at the graduate level.
Students from 37 countries make up the undergraduate population.
“This is the beginning of a new phase for the 1,792 students who will receive their diplomas this year.
“There are 1,437 with first degrees and 355 at the postgraduate level. “The majority of these, 55 per cent, are in the Social Sciences followed by those from the Faculty of Law; 119 students achieved first class honors,” he said.
Sir George reported that the majority of the postgraduates were at the Masters level, “but I was pleased to see us graduating 10 PhDs and 12 with doctorates in medicine”.
“I must note the fine performance of the first cohort of graduates from the MSc Sport Sciences double degree program with the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Five students have earned their MSc, two with distinction,” he told the audience.
The MSc in Sport Sciences is the first double degree programme at the Cave Hill Campus and successful students were awarded degrees from both UWI and University of New Brunswick.
At yesterday’s graduation ceremonies Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Laws were conferred on former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons; St Lucian attorney at law Stephen McNamara, and Executive Director of Caribbean Export Development Agency, Pamela Coke Hamilton. An Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science was conferred on local entrepreneur Ralph Williams. (GA)