News Releases

The UWI Aligns to Global Business Needs

For Release Upon Receipt - July 7, 2017

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (The UWI), St. Augustine has entered in an historic agreement with the Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre Management Company Limited (TTIFC) through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. The MOU will ensure that UWI graduates are better prepared to work with global businesses invited to invest in Trinidad and Tobago. The execution of the MOU will be piloted in the Department of Management Studies. 
TTIFC’s mandate is to help diversify the economy of Trinidad and Tobago by attracting foreign companies to set up operations locally and to hire individuals to work for foreign clients of those companies. It will help to create jobs while earning the country foreign exchange. 
A further area of focus is on developing a scalable industry by facilitating a continued flow of skilled employees for the benefit of local and international financial firms seeking to establish shared service centres, banking, financial services, and insurance business process outsourcing centres, as well as finance and accounting outsourcing operations in Trinidad and Tobago. 
At today’s signing, Campus Principal, Professor Brian Copeland reiterated his vision which forms part of The UWI’s new strategic focus on access, alignment and agility. He stressed the significance of this MOU as the Campus plans to ensure that what is taught engages with business and commerce in the country. Professor Copeland further emphasised The UWI’s commitment to creating an innovative and entrepreneurial University, a vital partner to industry and to governments in Caribbean development. The St. Augustine Campus, he said, can be a major catalyst in economic diversification through its teaching and outreach programmes. 
As a higher education institution established to contribute to national and regional development through the provision of relevant educational programmes producing industry-ready graduates, The UWI is industry’s ideal partner to achieve that objective. 
One main element of the MOU is that students in the Management and Accounting programmes will have mandatory workshops covering areas such as corporate and email etiquette; banking institutions skills focus; commitment and reputation building; image and workplace communications skills; customer service fundamentals; valuing and building rapport; and empathy. In addition to mentoring Management and Accounting students on the importance of these professional soft skills, The UWI will provide TTIFC with statistics of yearly graduates in specific programmes. Chairman Richard Young says that these statistics are key to TTIFC being able to continue to showcase the current local talent to the international companies. 
As part of the agreement TTIFC will offer UWI students and alumni – particularly those who have completed the mandatory workshops – job opportunities with foreign companies which have set up operations in Trinidad and Tobago. In this regard, TTIFC will participate in career guidance programmes and other student events while the Campus will disseminate TTIFC’s potential job and training opportunities to its student and alumni base. Both institutions have pledged to collaborate further on curriculum review and programme development relevant to the financial services industry. 
The signing took place at the Office of the Campus Principal. Signatories to the MOU are Professor Brian Copeland, Mr. Richard Young and Ms. Aliyah Jaggassar, Vice President of Business Process Outsourcing/Shared Services Development, TTIFC.
About The UWI
Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. For more information, visit