As the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus’, Department of Science and Technology continues to gain international recognition for its work, it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a leading digital multimedia firm that will provide further internship opportunities for its students.
The university has formalised an arrangement with Hyuna International, a Barbados-based firm whose parent company is in Canada, and also has branches in London, England, Los Angeles in the United States of America, and the Ukraine, with whom it has been collaborating for the last three years.
Principal of the Cave Hill Campus Professor Eudine Barriteau said, “In the academic year 2016-2017, two Cave Hill students gained internships at Hyuna and last year the number doubled to four. These internships are focused in the area of web development and target Computer Science and Information Technology majors. The top ten IT students were also invited to attend an open day at Hyuna International in November 2017.”
She added that students and lecturers from the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics also gave a commendable account of themselves in a recently held international competition. “One of last year’s interns, Brendon Duncan who is from Grenada, was a member of a Cave Hill-based team of experts comprising faculty from the Statistics, Computer Science and Public Health departments who made it to the second round of a global competition in artificial intelligence. This contest included people from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, China and Australia, and the team from Barbados was the only one from the Caribbean and Latin America who made it that far.”
Professor Barriteau also hinted that upgrades were coming to the Science and Technology Department, which, despite all of its accomplishments, was operating from outdated facilities. “We are going to make a determined effort to renew the faculty. We wish to make available a state-of-the-art complex befitting 21st Century expectations, and we have consultants on board who will produce a concept paper and design brief to renew the faculty, because much of what it occupies is nearly half a century old, and it is showing signs of needed renewal.”
Meanwhile, Human Resources Manager and Talent Scout with Hyuna, Julie Turney, stated that the UWI students had benefitted tremendously from their internships with her company. “We want to equip UWI graduates with the tools they need to make a positive difference in Barbados. We will achieve this by providing coaching, career and social development opportunities and scholarships, and we will also have guest lecturers and share materials with students,” she said.
She added that the company was also catering to post-graduate students and had recently brought two such students into their data science and data engineering analytics team, and the company is helping them complete their theses. (DH)