The University of the West Indies (UWI) must and will become the digital transformation epicenter of The Caribbean, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles has declared.
Speaking during the project launch ceremony for the UWI-CDB Digital Transformation Program at the University’s Regional Headquarters in Jamaica, he said the UWI is advancing its digital transformation as part of Phase II of its Triple A Strategic Plan: The Revenue Revolution, which focuses on the conversion of the University’s reputational value into much-needed revenue through the strategic use of digital technologies.
Sir Hilary explained that the program led by Professor of Digital Transformation, Policy, and Governance, Lloyd Waller, is more than digital technologies.
“Rather, it is the impact that the mobilization of those technologies will have on the UWI’s core business—teaching, learning, research, efficient administration and efficiency that facilitates doing more at a lower cost, generating savings in the process, also generating revenue,” he said.
Continuing its longstanding relationship with the University, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has come on board as the official partner for the UWI’s Digital Transformation Program.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, vice president of Operations at the CDB, Isaac Solomon, noted that through its support of the program, the Bank is keen to strengthen decades of mutually beneficial collaboration with the UWI, as it seeks to maintain a leadership role in higher education for the benefit of the region.
“For us at CDB, advancing the digital transformation of UWI is critical for operational effectiveness, increased access to programs, expansion of services, and continued competitiveness in the existing COVID-19 period and beyond,” said Solomon.
He highlighted several factors which, he stated underscored the necessity and relevance of the digital transformation project.
“Increasing enrolment across the UWI also requires optimizing online learning opportunities, as the shift to digital education delivery leverages technology to reduce the economic cost of tertiary education at the UWI for students in borrowing member countries,” the CDB vice president said.
“In addition, digital transformation is central to expanding the internationalization of UWI programs—a key strategic goal to diversify the university’s revenue base. The UWI Digital Transformation Project is therefore timely and necessary as it provides the University with the opportunity to push towards the institutional transformation needed to expand its reach as a global university and enhance the UWI brand as an institution of excellence in the Caribbean.
“The project is also designed to encourage innovative teaching and learning, particularly for more vulnerable and marginalized communities within our regional space,” he added.