News Releases

UWI New York Alumni Offer Financial Support

For Release Upon Receipt - February 15, 2008

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Vice Chancellor, Professor E. Nigel Harris, is looking to UWI alumni for help to meet the demands of expanding enrollment and cost of providing services.

Professor Harris said that current enrollment has increased “more than a thousand fold from 33 in 1948 (when the UWI started as the University College of the West Indies) to almost 40,000 campus-based and an additional 20,000 in Distance Education & Continuing Studies Programmes. He revealed that many of these “particularly those in Jamaica and the UWI-12 countries are finding it particularly challenging to finance their tertiary education.”

The Vice Chancellor told a UWI Alumni Association (UWIAA) New York reception that facilities in some UWI faculties are stretched to their limits and that the University has had to find “creative ways of retaining a world-class facility to ensure the quality of the education and training that is the hallmark of The UWI.”

The UWIAA New York reception was the launch of UWI 60th anniversary celebrations in New York. Professor Harris, himself a UWI alumnus, reminded those alumni present that “we were the beneficiaries of an excellent education at a time when paying for the cost of an education was not as challenging as it is now.”

Many alumni “have continued our engagement with our alma mater in a systematic way”, Professor Harris noted. He invited those who “have not been as diligent about it” to be as engaged as they can in “as tangible ways as possible.”

UWIAA New York Chapter President, Dr. Hazel Carter, accepted the charge on behalf of “the proud sons and daughters of the Pelican.” (The pelican is an icon of The UWI.)

Pointing to the Pelican as a symbol of “care for the young”, Dr. Carter said that the Chapter accepts the responsibility of assisting the university with preparing those young minds and will continue to reach out and nurture the academic achievement of current students attending the university.”

UWIAA New York, one of several UWI alumni chapters throughout the Caribbean and the Diaspora, annually offers scholarships and partners with a range of Caribbean-American organizations to present Caribbean scholars and authors and develop and implement curriculum reflecting notable Caribbean-Americans and to mount symposia, all in a bid to strengthen communities in the Caribbean region and the Diaspora and give the UWI an international presence.


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