News Releases

UWI postgraduate student wins laptop for her UWI experience feedback

For Release Upon Receipt - March 15, 2011

St. Augustine

Postgraduate student at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine campus, Ms. Sabina Gomez was recently rewarded for her participation in the 2010 UWI Postgraduate Experience Survey tag-lined You talk. We listen. On February 18th, UWI Pro Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development, Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie presented the part-time, MSc Mediation Studies student with the grand prize of a Dell laptop.

As part of the University’s commitment to continuous improvement, the Office of Planning and Development and Quality Assurance Unit launched the Postgraduate Experience – You talk. We listen Survey last March and invited all UWI postgraduate students from across the region to share their honest views about the UWI experience. Overall, approximately 2149 postgraduates participated in the first-time initiative which gave students the option of completing an online or mail-in questionnaire.

The Postgraduate Experience Survey examined several dimensions of University service to postgraduate students including Programme Support; Programme Supervision; Teaching; Research Opportunities; Personal Skills Development; University Support Services and Overall Satisfaction. The survey’s feedback and particularly the identification of sources of dissatisfaction for graduate students will bring significant enhancements in the quality of graduate programme offerings and help UWI provide a more enriching overall postgraduate experience. More pertinent is that improvements in postgraduate service delivery will help UWI to increase its graduate retention rates while simultaneously decrease graduate throughput rates (time candidates take to complete their degrees).

Dr. Tewarie, Pro Vice Chancellor for Planning & Development – whose Office manages the institutional research initiatives like the Postgraduate Experience Survey and University’s overall transformation process within the context of its current strategic agenda – revealed that a comprehensive, final report on the survey’s findings was currently being prepared for presentation to the Annual Business Meeting of University Council in May 2011.

According to Dr. Tewarie, “Our current strategic plan which is now 17 months to completion identifies graduate studies and research as a core strategic aim in creating the true learning community that we envision for UWI.  The kind of institution that we are aiming to become is one that attracts first-rate students and one that is consistently putting the needs of our students first. They are our biggest testimony so the University is committed to improving their experience; this in itself will make our students effective ambassadors.”

Commenting on the survey and her UWI postgraduate experience, St. Augustine prize-winner Ms. Gomez said, “Students are best positioned to give feedback on the University experience. I think that the information gathered from surveys like this [the Postgraduate Experience Survey] should inform policy and I hope it results in improvements across the faculties. My experience [at UWI] has been excellent. What stands out to me is the supportiveness of both fellow students and faculty.”

Similar prizes have been awarded to survey participants at the UWI sister campuses in Cave Hill, Barbados and Mona, Jamaica, while the prize-giving for the UWI Open Campus is scheduled for March 2011.


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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.