From the Principal: In Celebration of Excellence
Graduation ceremonies across our four campuses have been taking place over the past few weeks – the UWI St. Augustine Campus held the last of its six ceremonies yesterday, and Mona’s will be held at the end of the week.
Given the increasing numbers of students graduating annually, we have had to hold six separate functions to accommodate them. This year our total number of graduates is 4,324: 3,296 undergraduates and 1,028 postgraduates. Of those, 2,791 students have graduated with first degrees and it is a tribute to the quality of our students and academic staff that 166 of them attained first class honours and 497 upper second class honours, nearly a quarter of the total.
It is heartening to see that while our enrolment continues to increase, providing more opportunities for talented students, graduation numbers are also steadily rising, with many graduates achieving levels of distinction. For the 2011/12 academic year, we welcomed 3,652 undergraduate and 1,611 postgraduate students, an increase of 6% and 9% respectively over the previous year. I am therefore truly pleased that students continue to make this Campus their first choice in an overwhelming vote of confidence. Of the 384 national scholarships awarded this year, 237 scholarship winners are registered at the UWI St. Augustine Campus!
Our thrust to widen our programmes to continuously meet the needs of the times has also yielded a positive impact.
Just two weeks ago, our Campus launched a new BSc in Insurance and Risk Management, a programme that is surely of great professional relevance in light of the economic climate and the vulnerabilities of the insurance industry.
So we continue to do all we can to be an institution that offers leadership in these areas, and to encourage and support excellence in all fields of endeavour.
For the 2011 Graduation ceremonies, we have conferred honorary doctorates on eight members of the Caribbean community whom we felt deserved to be recognised for their invaluable contribution to our societies. Prof Anantanand Rambachan, Brian Lara, Helen Bhagwansingh, Reginald Dumas, Roy Cape, Sir Fenton Ramsahoye, Jackie Hinkson and Kamluddin Mohammed join the hall of the distinguished.
With great pride I salute them, and their unflagging quest for excellence.
To our graduates, I offer my congratulations and confidence that you will do UWI proud wherever you go.
Clement K. Sankat