News Releases

UWI and UNDP sign MOU, opening Day 1 of Forum on Future of the Caribbean

For Release Upon Receipt - May 5, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Trinidad and Tobago have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to engage in cooperative programmes in education and research and promote exchange among UWI faculty and students. The signing took place today, May 5, as part of the opening session of Day 1 of the Forum on the Future of the Caribbean at the Teaching and Learning Complex on the St. Augustine Campus. The MOU was signed by Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The UWI St. Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat at UNDP Trinidad and Tobago Resident Representative, Mr. Richard Blewitt. 

The MOU, enacted for an initial period of five years, will see the collaboration of both institutions specifically in a number of areas. These key areas include joint research activities; the staging of joint seminars, conferences and academic meetings; special academic programmes; Education Abroad on the part of graduate students, including exchanges, internships, electives and practicum opportunities with the UNDP at its various locations internationally; the exchange of academic materials, research data and other information; collaborative academic programmes joint collaborative Grant Proposals; accessing international UN Volunteers to support the work of The UWI; and the creation of a research and policy centre dedicated to supporting responses to pressing national and regional development issues and to strengthening development effectiveness and impact through targeted research, policy formulation and project execution. 

The UWI St. Augustine and the UNDP Trinidad are just two of the partners in the staging of the Forum on the Future of the Caribbean, which also includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, Regional Inter-governmental partners and The Commonwealth. The Forum, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, brings together political leaders, academia, private sector leaders, young shapers, civil society and policymakers to engage in vigorous debate and discussion under the name: Disruptive Thinking. Bold Action. Practical Outcomes.

Dignitaries including Secretary-General of CARICOM, His Excellency Irwin LaRocque; Canada's Ambassador to the Republic of Haiti, His Excellency Henri Paul-Normandin and Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, gather to tackle challenges to Caribbean development and identify strategies for securing a sustainable future. The Forum further aims to amplify the voices of dynamic young leaders willing to challenge the status quo and champion new solutions. Day Two and Three of the Forum continue tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

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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.)