This St. Augustine Campus, the second-born child of The University of the West Indies, grew from rich agricultural stock. Its forerunner, the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA), was an internationally respected institution of teaching and research, attracting scholars from all over the world.
Even as the fledgling St. Augustine Campus deepened its pristine roots in agriculture, it began to seed new disciplines–engineering and the social sciences being among the first. Over its fifty years, several more have joined this orchard. The additions have been diverse and fascinating as the region has developed and The UWI has sought to keep abreast of and respond to the changes that have come to the Caribbean. In its fiftieth year, after such considerable expansion has taken place that the physical space–save for the Administration Building–would be practically unrecognizable to an ICTA student; the Campus has renewed its commitment to Caribbean development.
In its first fifty years, regional needs demanded that the Campus expand access to tertiary level education, and this has been done at a more than satisfactory level through expansions of physical infrastructure and degree offerings. St Augustine can feel proud of its achievements in service and teaching. While research has always been an integral part of its academic remit, the next fifty years must see an even greater effort in fostering research that is relevant and responsive. The societies of today that have positioned themselves on knowledge-based platforms are the best poised for success.