News Releases

UWI and ACS join strengths in Port of Spain

For Release Upon Receipt - May 26, 2010

St. Augustine

Regional organisations sign historic MOU

A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) will join the strengths of the two regional organisations. Professor Sankat, UWI Pro Vice Chancellor and St Augustine Campus Principal, and Ambassador Luis Fernando Andrade Falla, ACS Secretary General shook hands over the freshly signed MOU at an afternoon signing ceremony on Tuesday 25th May, 2010.

“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding goes further than a symbolic demonstration of our commitment to cooperate and collaborate. Today’s signing also symbolises the strengthening of relations and partnerships between our two institutions for the benefit of national and regional development,” said Professor Sankat.

The UWI-ACS MOU provides for the establishment of several Centres for the Promotion of Languages and Culture (CPLC) across the Caribbean (CPLC). The project aims to position the Greater Caribbean region as a point of reference for the learning of the main languages spoken in the Caribbean Basin— Spanish, French and English. Through multilingualism, the project aims to facilitate the sharing of the region’s diverse cultures, thereby contributing to integration. Trinidad and Tobago will serve as the Centre of Excellence for the English component of the CPLC project, and at the Centre for Language Learning in UWI St. Augustine has been selected as the location for the establishment of the CPLC in this country.

“Our Centre for Language Learning has significant experience in this area, with ongoing agreements with the Ministry of Health for English Language training for Cuban Healthcare Professionals and with the Universidad Nacional de Colombia as the English Language Centre for their annual faculty exchange programme. Thus, the technical expertise of the UWI staff together with their wealth of experience in languages, linguistics and the teaching of English as a foreign language will contribute to the success of the CPLC project,” said Professor Sankat.

The St Augustine Campus Principal thanked the ACS Secretary General for his “leadership and support” for the establishment of the CPLC, and formally acknowledged the “invaluable input” of Professor Funso Aiyejina, Dean of the UWI Faculty of Humanities and Education, and Dr Beverly-Ann Carter, Director of the Centre for Language Learning.

He also thanked the ACS Directorate of Sustainable Tourism for all the preparatory work that made the historic signing possible. Ms. Gloria de Mees, ACS Director for Sustainable Tourism was in attendance at the MOU signing ceremony, along with Professor Timothy Shaw, Director of the UWI Institute of International Relations, and Mr Alejandro Fleming, Minister of the People’s Power for Tourism of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The MOU signing was part of the agenda of the 21st Meeting of the Special Committee on Sustainable Tourism which took place at the ACS Headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad. For more information, please contact Mrs Shelley Ann Patrick-Harper at or (868) 662-2002 Ext. 2635 or 3942.

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About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.