(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister)
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -– St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, and his fellow Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) heads of government support the proposed establishment of a fourth University of the West Indies (UWI) Campus in Antigua and Barbuda.
The support came shortly after UWI’s Vice Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles, shared the institution’s vision for a possible fourth campus in Antigua and Barbuda when he delivered a presentation to the OECS heads on Oct. 23 during the 66th Meeting of the OECS Authority in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Prime Minister Harris stated that the establishment of a fourth UWI Campus in Antigua and Barbuda could significantly influence the decisions of more OECS nationals to obtain a quality tertiary-level education close to home.
“With the coming of a residential campus in Antigua, we are looking to have better benefits in terms of the affordability and accessibility to our students,” Dr. Harris said. “Antigua for example is 15-20 minutes travel from St. Kitts and you can easily relate to that in terms of time and distance, Having a campus in Antigua and Barbuda would also allow for greater influence in the shaping of different programmes specific to the needs of the sub-region.
“We think that this is going to add numbers, have more of our people participate, gives us greater opportunity to influence programming decisions in that the range of services would be sensitive to our particular needs,” Dr. Harris said.
“At the OECS level for example, we had determined across the countries different areas where we would develop schools of excellence or training, and certainly I believe when you have your own home-grown campus it allows for synergies, it allows for those kinds of issues to be articulated and supported with all the power that a university can bring, so we are generally supportive of this.”
There remain a number of critical matters to be addressed before a fourth UWI Campus in Antigua and Barbuda can be realized. These include programming, governance structure and financing arrangements for the institution.
Presently, the University of the West Indies has three traditional campuses in the region, namely: the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, the St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago and the Mona Campus in Jamaica.