News Releases

Response to Article on the Faculty of Social Sciences

For Release Upon Receipt - July 25, 2017

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. 25 July 2017:  An article published on Monday 24 July in the Daily Express indicated that the Faculty of Social Sciences at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine will, this year, be lowering its matriculation requirements. The article also cited the changes to the Government Assistance for Tertiary Expenses programme (GATE) as the main contributor to the matriculation adjustments.

The UWI wishes to clarify the misrepresentations in this article by noting the following:

1.      The CXC selection criteria only applies to the Certificate in Public Administration (CPA) not degree programmes.

Programmes like the CPA can be used as a “bridging” programme to bring students up to the qualification levels required for entry to Degree Programmes. It is also used as one of the criteria for promotion in the public service.

2.      The current CPA requirement is for 5 O’Levels or equivalent. The qualifications for entry into degree programmes at The UWI have not changed.

The entry qualifications for the CPA programme have been expanded in keeping with university matriculation requirements to allow for applicants with at least 3 or 4 CXC passes who, having not achieved the required 5 O’ levels or equivalent, can now be assessed against additional criteria that reflect sufficient prior learning through experience, professional development or formal qualification. It should be noted that this “Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)” approach is well in line with how Universities, including The UWI, are changing their systems to improve their delivery to a wider demographic. It should also be noted that this decision is in keeping with UWI’s new strategic direction of widening access, particularly to the underserved.

3.      There is no evidence that the fall in offers is a consequence of changes in GATE. Indeed there are some programmes that are seeing record numbers of applicants.

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 BarbadosJamaicaTrinidad 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