News Releases

UWI Vice Chancellor congratulates the first UWI Alumna in the office of PM

For Release Upon Receipt - June 9, 2010

St. Augustine

Professor E. Nigel Harris, Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies has extended congratulations to Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar who was inaugurated last Wednesday as the first female Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, following the national elections of Monday 24th May, 2010.

In official correspondence to the Office of the Prime Minister, Vice Chancellor Harris expressed his heartiest congratulations to the new Prime Minister and the People’s Partnership on their victory at the polls. “We at The University of the West Indies are doubly proud that another alumnus of this august institution has attained the high office of Prime Minister,” he stated. The Vice Chancellor was also proud to acknowledge Mrs. Persad-Bissessar as the first alumna of the University to attain the high office of Prime Minister; an achievement which he believes sends a powerful message to female students at the institution.

Professor Harris confirmed UWI’s commitment to working with the new Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to continue to develop the human resource potential, knowledge and outreach necessary to promote the sustained growth of the twin-island State and by extension the rest of the region.

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar is the fourteenth UWI alumnus designated a Caribbean Head of Government and joins the ranks of incumbent regional Prime Ministers: David Thompson – Barbados, Dean Oliver Barrow – Belize, Dr. Tillman Thomas – Grenada, Bruce Golding – Jamaica, Dr. Denzil Douglas – St. Kitts and Nevis and Ralph Gonsalves – St. Vincent. Like her predecessors, PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar will be inducted into the CARICOM Park at The University of the West Indies, Mona in recognition of her achievement.

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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.