News Releases

The UWI deepens ties with ANSA McAL

For Release Upon Receipt - December 2, 2014

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat described yesterday as an “emotional” one during the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the St. Augustine Campus and ANSA McAL. The event signalled a deepening of ties between ANSA McAL and The UWI with the launch of the Guardian Media School of Journalism, the Anthony N. Sabga School of Entrepreneurship and the reopening of the ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre.  

In his remarks, Mr A. Norman Sabga, Chairman and Chief Executive of the ANSA McAL group traced the strong ties between the university and ANSA McAL to 1989 when ANSA McAL funded a building that housed the ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre. He credited the good work that Behavioural Sciences Professor Derek Chadee was doing as the reason the ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre had outgrown its space and needed a new home.  He also highlighted the UWI-ANSA McAL partnership as being responsible for churning out prize-winning Laureates through Anthony Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence.  He even looked to his own corporation as a living example of being part of the UWI family since “over 90% of the Executives are UWI alums.” 

Mr. Sabga’s appreciation of The UWI as the “intellectual brain of the country” was concretised when he spoke about the launch of the Guardian Media School of Journalism set for construction in 2015 as a place that could be “a huge development for the growth of the media in video, print and voice.”  The tone of his speech took a personal turn when he spoke about the launch of the Anthony N. Sabga School of Entrepreneurship, he proudly exclaimed “Who better to name a school after other than the master entrepreneur himself?” as he pointed to his father Dr Anthony N. Sabga, Chairman Emeritus of ANSA McAL. He found that the ability to grow and recognise businesses was lacking and we need to produce executives who can run businesses and grow the economy, region and the country. The desire to pay back the country for all the blessings bestowed to ANSA McAL was also seen as a motivating factor for the company’s involvement with The UWI. The most rousing applause during the ceremony was garnered when Mr. Sabga said he looked forward to the day when the schools open and the classroom is filled with hungry minds across the Caribbean. 

In his speech, the Campus Principal passionately spoke about this day as the “beginning of putting a dream and vision into reality and execution.” Like Mr. Norman Sabga, Professor Sankat spoke about The UWI and ANSA McAL’s longstanding relationship and the privilege it was to bestow upon Anthony Sabga, a Doctor of Laws Degree Honoris Causa and for Mr. Norman Sabga to be a member of the University’s Campus Council. Professor Sankat expressed his heartfelt thanks for the generous donation given by ANSA McAL and looked forward to the new journalism programme that would be created thanks to the Guardian School of Journalism.  He noted that the Anthony N. Sabga School of Entrepreneurship would result in leaders who would “change the paradigm of how we grow our economy.”  

The gift ANSA McAL is giving the UWI was deemed the “largest benefaction given by any of our private sector, including the multinationals, to the UWI, St. Augustine Campus” by Professor Sankat. He saw it as representing a coming of age of the Private Sector in terms of contributing to The UWI similar to Universities in North America and Canada where many of the names on buildings were from members of the Private Sector. He also expressed that, “In Trinidad and Tobago and the region as a whole, we have been looking too much to the state for leadership in almost all Sectors of our society’s development. While it is important for Government to protect the vulnerable in our society, its main role should be to create an enabling environment that supports Private Sector led growth, productivity and competitiveness.”  

Professor Sankat remarked on the current economic climate and the falling prices for oil and gas saying “it is time Trinidad and Tobago finally wakes up to the dramatically shift gears as to the direction to develop our economy and society. What obtains at present, is unsustainable.” 

The event closed with Professor Sankat thanking his fellow UWI members of staff including Professor Derek Chadee who has been with him since the inception of this project, telling him that “his dream has come true”. The Project Managers, Institutional Advancement Officers and Campus Bursar all dubbed the day “A great day for all.” The signing took place at the Tatil Building in Port of Spain. 


About The UWI 

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (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, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad 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. Website: 

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)