News Releases

UWI Rallies Relief Efforts for Ecuadorian Students

For Release Upon Receipt - April 22, 2016


Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Friday, April 22, 2016. UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, has expressed deep concern over the situation in Ecuador following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake which struck the country on April 16.


Extending his condolences to the Government and people of Ecuador, Vice-Chancellor Beckles stated, “We in the Caribbean have been following the aftermath of this tragic incident that has affected our neighbours. Our prayers go out that they are restored to near normalcy as soon as possible. We are deeply concerned for those who have been left vulnerable, including our current students and our University is keen to provide any assistance they need during this difficult time”.  


The UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados administers the Teach English Caribbean programme (TEC) which has 129 Ecuadorian English teachers enrolled as students. Fifty of these students currently attend classes at the Campus and are preparing for mid-term examinations.


While none have lost relatives, they have all accounted experiences of having neighbours and friends who perished as a result of the earthquake. The parents, relatives, friends and neighbours of many of these students have lost their homes and all their belongings. 


In response, the Ecuadorian students are working with the Office of Student Services at Cave Hill, the Campus Guild of Students and the Office of Business and Internationalisation and have organised a number of activities to support recovery efforts. A counselling session for the students was organised by the Office of Student Services on April 18, during which Campus Principal, Professor V. Eudine Barriteau visited to support the students. Classes were cancelled on that day and many students used the time off to plan their strategy to assist others back at home. On April 20, a relief church service was organised by the students and the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) of the Guild of Students. A donation drive was also launched to collect food and other relief items as well as monetary contributions to be sent to Ecuador. 


Monetary donations may be made at any branch of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank in Barbados to account #1001148181, which has been specially set up to receive contributions. Persons wishing to assist otherwise may contact the Office of Business and Internationalisation at Cave Hill at 1 (246) 417 4541 until April 29, 2016. 




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 fully-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with three physical Campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus. The UWI serves 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, The British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. The UWI’s faculty and students come from more than 40 countries and The University has collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The 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.


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