News Releases

UWI Vice-Chancellor discusses financial support for Vincentian students

For Release Upon Receipt - May 20, 2021


Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles has assured the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves of The UWI’s continued support for the Government and people of the country, following the series of explosive volcanic eruptions which began in early April.

Vice-Chancellor Beckles was at the time on a courtesy call to Prime Minister Gonsalves, on a visit to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines last Friday, May 14, 2021. 

During the visit, the Vice-Chancellor disclosed to Prime Minister Gonsalves that The UWI, beyond the science-management of the natural disaster, has formulated a financial aid strategy for all new and returning Vincentian students of The UWI. He announced that in August this year Vincentian students on all campuses will receive a special provision of tuition and accommodation assistance for the academic year 2021/2022 of up to 50%, based on each campus’ capacity and students’ individual needs. Vice-Chancellor Beckles also identified that 30% of the proceeds from the New York and Toronto fundraising galas would be earmarked to provide specific financial support for students from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

This financial aid package is estimated to benefit approximately 1,200 Vincentian students enrolled in programmes across all UWI campuses. The initiative is described by Vice-Chancellor Beckles as part of the University’s overall monitoring and management of the affairs of students from the islands; those pursuing education online, from their homes; and those who will be returning to various landed campuses; and the new, incoming generation of students.

In his dialogue with Prime Minister Gonsalves, the Vice-Chancellor also pledged The UWI’s continued support in the management of the volcanic/seismic activity on the islands. To date, The UWI has provided a range of support including scientific support, mobilizing relief and financial resources towards health care, education and for students displaced by La Soufriere’s eruptions.

Vice-Chancellor Beckles took the opportunity to congratulate the tremendous work of both The UWI Seismic Research Centre team on the islands since December 2020, and the relief support team coordinated by Dr. Francis Severin, Deputy Principal of The UWI Open Campus. He said the financial and material relief support through the “Rally Round SVG” initiative has amassed significant aid to the country, already

Turning attention to the islands’ recovery, Vice-Chancellor Beckles pledged his personal support to the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in negotiation and diplomacy with international agencies under the rubric of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to enable the country to get back on its feet after being knocked off its targeted development goals as a result of this seismic crisis.

Prime Minister Gonsalves, himself a UWI alumnus and former lecturer conveyed his satisfaction with the efforts of The UWI, and expressed gratitude on behalf of the nation.




Notes to the Editor

Photo Caption:

Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles in dialogue with Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Hon Ralph Gonsalves during a visit to the islands on May 14, 2021.


About The UWI

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

Ranked among the top universities in the world, by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. In 2020, it earned ‘Triple 1st’ rankings—topping the Caribbean; and in the top in the tables for Latin America and the Caribbean, and global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the top universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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