News Releases

UWI continues international thrust with Cuba trip

For Release Upon Receipt - February 3, 2016

St. Augustine

Last month, a 12-person contingent of staff and students from The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine travelled to Cuba in the 5th instalment of The UWI DISCOVERS series. The group visited La Habana, Matanzas and Pinar Del Rio provinces during their week-long stay.

According to Director of the campus’ Office of Institutional Advancement and Internationalization, Sharan Singh, “UWI DISCOVERS is part of The UWI’s strategic efforts towards internationalization: the development of education, research, and community service for global impact. Through cultural immersion and academic guidance, the series explores emerging markets of the world to foster similar critical thinking, technological innovation, and cultural preservation in Caribbean nationals.” The group was hosted by the Centre of Jose Martís Studies, led by Cuban academic coordinator, Dr Jacqueline LaGuardia Martinez and UWI study tour coordinator, Afiya Francis. They attended lectures at the Centre followed by tours which covered several topics including Cuban art and culture, politics, healthcare and Cuba’s diplomatic relations.

Of the experience, UWI student, Solange Roberts-Clarke said “The opportunity to get first-hand knowledge about Cuban society, history, culture and much more while experiencing Cuba was amazing. Overall, I left gaining a deeper respect and love for the country as well as a different perspective on life, people, history, culture of Cuba and the world.” Chandar Gupta Supersad, Manager of Financial Advisory Services at the Department of Student Services added “UWI DISCOVERS Cuba was an amazing experience where we got to see, hear and enjoy Cuban music, song, history and dance with the Cuban people. It provided a wealth of experience that was very enlightening and enjoyable.”

This year, the DISCOVER series will travel to South Africa to learn about the history and culture of the country and explore its wine regions, cosmopolitan cities and wildlife game reserves. This follows trips to India in 2012 and 2013, and Brazil in 2013. At its core, the series provides the opportunity to explore the most dynamic and increasingly influential countries in the world. The tours are open to students, staff and faculty of The UWI (all campuses) and of all regional higher education institutions. Alumni of The UWI are also welcome to apply as well as members of the public who are active in fields related to the study tour theme. For further information, contact Afiya Francis at 662-2002 ext. 84280, 224-3707 or email



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.)