News Releases

UWI looks to extend the integration with the French Caribbean States

For Release Upon Receipt - May 26, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – French Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Hédi Picquart expressed his willingness to participate in joint relations between The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the other French Caribbean States, with the interest of pooling resources in finding solutions to some of the prevailing problems of this region.

This was expressed last Friday, May 22, as Ambassador Picquart paid a courtesy call on Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat. Accompanying the Ambassador were Mr. Jean-Luc Mure, the French Embassy’s Regional Cooperation and Cultural Action Adviser and Mr. Antonine Trarieux, newly appointed Director of the Alliance Française.

In speaking with the Ambassador, Professor Sankat asserted that making The UWI available for students of the French speaking Caribbean states such as Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Maarten and French Guiana was one strategy for seeing the Caribbean as a broader space. Common areas of interest between The UWI and the French speaking territories were also identified, which include Food and Agriculture, the Cultural Arts and in Engineering.

In terms of common issues, the current situation with regards to high levels of youth unemployment in many of the Caribbean island states was also raised as a matter of urgency. Mr. Jean-Luc Mure iterated that many of the French Caribbean states are facing similar problems of unemployment, especially with young people. Professor Sankat raised the importance of creating opportunities for young people, especially in our small island developing states, to be appropriately trained for meaningful employment entrepreneurship.


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.)