News Releases

UWI congratulates first female TT Prime Minister

For Release Upon Receipt - June 2, 2010

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus has issued formal congratulations to Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar, inaugurated Wednesday 26th May, 2010 as the first female Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Following the national elections of Monday 24th May, 2010, Mrs Persad-Bissessar, a graduate of The UWI, emerged as leader of the country’s Government, joining Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica, the late Dame Eugenia Charles of Dominica and Janet Jagan of Guyana, as female West Indian government leaders.

Speaking on Tuesday at the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Port of Spain, Professor Clement Sankat, UWI Pro Vice Chancellor and St Augustine Campus Principal, was heartened that Mrs Persad-Bissessar had voiced commitment to regional integration.

Professor Sankat also lauded Mrs Persad-Bissessar’s proposed initiative to create a “university town” that would encompass the areas surrounding the St Augustine campus. He congratulated the new members of Parliament for St Joseph, Herbert Volney, St Augustine, Prakash Ramadhar and Tunapuna, Winston Dookeran and said he looked forward to their support for the implementation of the Campus Master Plan.

“We look forward to making this university town a reality,” said Professor Sankat, adding that the university has always enjoyed a good relationship with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and that he looks forward to the continuing support for the university by the new administration.

“Government is the largest contributor to the St Augustine campus. This is why the St Augustine campus is enjoying 50 years this year,” he said. “The St. Augustine Campus is committed to serve Trinidad and Tobago as well as the region, in its human resource development goals and the establishment of a strong, productive capacity for research, development and innovation.”

In formal correspondence addressed to the country’s new Prime Minister, the St Augustine Campus Principal said, “I am eager to discuss your vision for a University Village and enhanced regionalism and will do all in my capacity as the Campus Principal to assist in its development. Always at the top of our agenda is the safety and security of our students who hail from all parts of the region and the world, and I am keen on working with your administration to address this.”

The St Augustine Campus Principal has also issued correspondence congratulating all the graduates of the University who were elected to positions of national leadership in the recently concluded Trinidad and Tobago general elections. Saying he is elated about this as “building leaders for our society is one of the university’s key goals,” The Principal noted the appointment as Ministers of two members of staff of the UWI: Mr. Fazal Karim to the Ministry of Science, Technology & Tertiary Education and Ms. Therese Baptiste-Cornelis to the Ministry of Health, and congratulated them on this achievement, as well as all the newly appointed Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries.


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About Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar holds an Executive MBA from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business of The University of the West Indies (UWI), and is a former Lecturer at the Department of Language and Linguistics at UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica. She started her formal education at the Mohess Road Hindu School, the Erin Road Presbyterian School, the Siparia Union Presbyterian School, and the Iere High School. She studied at the Norwood Technical College, London, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA Hons), Diploma in Education and a Masters in Education from UWI Mona. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to attend New York’s Columbia University, but opted to pursue the Bachelor of Laws (LLB Hons) from UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. She excelled at her Law studies and was named the top student at her graduation from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago, winning prizes for the Most Outstanding Student and the Best Overall Performance.

About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.