The Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) has formally announced the introduction of several new degree programmes at the undergraduate and post-graduate level, as well as the creation of three new departments. The changes come as the institution undertakes its current five-year strategic plan aimed at keeping the educational institution more relevant to an ever-changing global environment.
At a press conference on monday, Principal Professor Eudine Barriteau said the new programmes were part of the ongoing ‘Smart Campus’ initiative, in which “We are equipping our students for a world in which rapidly changing demographics and artificial intelligence are all becoming forces. And we subject every programme we embark on to a rigorous process of review, analysis, and accreditation so that they will produce the type of graduate this region requires, one whose knowledge and skills are globally competitive.”
She added that “Every aspect of the Cave Hill Campus’ operations and programmes is subjected to quality control and review, including our financial operations, which are subject to independent external review by professional accounting firms. Every degree and certificate we offer comes from institutions with internationally recognized accreditation.”
Some of the new courses coming on stream include a Masters programme in Nursing and Nursing Administration, and in the Faculty of Science and Technology, Masters programmes will be offered in Information Technology with specialization in Mobile Applications, Web Development for Enterprise Systems, along with a new post-graduate programme in Information Technology. New programmes will also be offered in Early Childhood Education, which will also form part of the campus’ Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning.
Meanwhile, in the Faculty of Humanities, there will be a new Creative Writing course, and in conjunction with the Confucius Centre established at Cave Hill, the campus will offer a minor in Mandarin Chinese. Apart from teaching the language, “This programme will also examine Chinese culture, history, and economy, and once students successfully complete it, they will receive credits if they enroll for a degree programme in Chinese and Asian Studies we are currently developing,” the principal added.
A Faculty of Creative Arts and Culture is also coming on board, based on the lucrative nature of this sector and the significant contributions Caribbean artists have made over the years. The Principal advised, “We must treat this field with full respect, and create a faculty structure that recognises the maturity, intellectual marketability and scholarly weight in cultural studies. We must establish a faculty that will attract international students to Barbados and [the] Caribbean, but more importantly, it will enable Caribbean people to study and gain valuable skills and hone their talents in the visual and performing arts and cultural industries.”
Given the vulnerability of the region’s environment to natural disasters, as evidenced by last year’s hurricane season, Dr Barriteau announced two new initiatives. “First, we will introduce a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, which will provide an opportunity for students to develop management skills to cope with regional issues affecting the management of the oceans, climate change, natural hazards and sustainable development.
“We will also establish an inter-disciplinary Centre for Bio-Security Studies within the Faculty of Social Sciences. This multi-faceted centre will touch on issues regarding the law, medical research, international relations, and public health and is dedicated to building regional capacity to deal with any environmental threats.”