News Releases

UWI will innovate to survive difficult economic times

For Release Upon Receipt - January 25, 2018

St. Augustine

The current economic downturn that is affecting organizations, institutions and individuals region-wide has not spared The University of the West Indies’ St. Augustine Campus. The campus has however been preparing for lean times for over two years now. A call for innovative thinking and technology bound solutions was made by Campus Bursar Andrea Taylor-Hanna in the May-June 2016 issue of the STAN Magazine (St. Augustine News and Perspectives) still available here The campus community recognizes that at all levels we need to become more efficient and productive and contribute to the collective response to the new economic reality.

Regarding the most recent financial concerns for The UWI St. Augustine, Campus Management continues systematic engagements with key stakeholders including the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) who has always been very supportive of The UWI. This engagement is also with staff members, recognized Unions, contractors and students through the Guild of Students. In these conversations, the senior management team continues to share the economic reality with a call to be more efficient and innovative in operations. Campus Management has shared some income generating and cost cutting measures including curbing non-essential and travel expenditure, energy efficiency and leveraging digital technology solutions. They have also invited suggestions from the campus community and explained that the intention at this time is not layoffs but rather to focus on efficiencies and quality. 

Campus Principal Professor Brian Copeland reiterates that the conversation is global and innovation is the primary response: “The downturn is affecting higher education institutions worldwide. In fact international rating agency Moody’s moved their rating of the global higher education industry from stable to negative, while Standard & Poor’s suggest a bleak outlook for higher education globally in 2018. Mindful of this disruption in higher education, we understand that it is not business as usual. We will continue to focus on innovating in all aspects of operations including academic programme restructuring and delivery, even as we put measures in place to treat with the economic downturn that all local organizations are grappling with.  Our sister campuses have faced these economic hurdles before and have survived and I am sure that we too will survive.”




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, The 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, Social Sciences and Sport. 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. Website:


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