October 2015

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Message from the Principal: 55 years of accomplishment

This October, I am proud to state that the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI is celebrating its 55th anniversary, having emerged from the iconic Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA) in October 1960. This is indeed a special occasion as we celebrate our successes, but at the same time, also engage in critical thought as to how we can improve our service to our diverse stakeholders across the world.

While we have seen considerable expansion throughout our 55 years of history, I do wish to point out that in the last five years (since our golden jubilee in 2010), the St. Augustine Campus has seen perhaps its most significant period of growth. Indeed, expansion continues to take place in all directions at a phenomenal rate as we naturally evolve to ensure that we remain relevant and responsive to all of our stakeholders.

The first significant achievement of that last five years is that St. Augustine, the second Campus of the UWI System to be created, is now the largest with approximately 18,000 students, of whom more than 5,000 are postgraduate students. We have seen major new physical spaces emerge, new partnerships with the private sector, internationalisation that has led to strong links with India, China, Canada, Cuba, Brazil, etc, and opportunities for our students; major research funding from international agencies like the European Union, and an exponential growth in commercialisation activities on the Campus to enable us to earn income, leveraging on our assets.

We were the first Campus of the regional UWI to attain institutional accreditation for the period 2011-2018. This speaks to our leadership in total quality management, both in academic and service related issues. Another significant achievement is the establishment of The UWI-Trinidad and Tobago Research and Development Impact (RDI) Fund in 2012 – a unique multi-million dollar scheme that bridges university research and academic outputs with development outcomes. Just last week we had a triple research event.

Our Campus hosted the UWI-NGC Research Expo, a resounding success again, and we took the opportunity to launch our second research publication, “Advancing Knowledge: Impacting Lives” as well as a series of UWI Research Impact films.

Over the last five years, we launched the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean; the Academy of Nursing and Allied Health; a state-of-the art Dental Teaching facility; the expansion of the Mt. Hope School of Dentistry (the first expansion since its inception); together with the Faculties of Law; Science and Technology; and Food and Agriculture. Emerging from the latter, is the Agricultural Innovation Park at our East Campus in Orange Grove which we are certain will bring agriculture alive in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. We have made significant progress at The UWI St. Augustine South Campus which we expect to be completed and operational by early next year. This South Campus will be utilized by all of our Faculties, starting with Law, as well as our associate institutions such as UWI-ROYTEC and UWI-Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business. The Campus is being transformed with an entrepreneurial mindset like never before as we maintain our core mission and values as a University. We also value the partnership we have had with national and regional Governments over the years.

It would be remiss of me, however, if I do not mention that one of UWI’s greatest contributions to society remains our consistent ability to produce leaders for every sphere of society. Many of our graduates are heads of government, captains of industry, entrepreneurs and scholars in many disciplines, and we are certain that the thousands of students enrolled at our Campus will follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before.

I must mention the consistent quality of our members of staff (both administrative and instructional) whose dedication to duty has allowed us to achieve such an excellent record of service. Without the commitment and support of our staff, our institution would not enjoy the success we enjoy today. I salute all staff members of The UWI St. Augustine Campus, both past and present. The St. Augustine Campus has continued to attract very talented students from our communities and our students and their accomplishments are a source of considerable pride. We are working hard to engage our Alumni, through a new re-connect campaign that will bring immense value in the years ahead.

On this, the 55th anniversary of The UWI St. Augustine Campus, let us reaffirm our commitment to strengthening The UWI as a necessary beacon of light that will guide our country and region towards a brighter future.


Campus Principal: Professor Clement Sankat
Director of Marketing and Communications: Dr. Dawn-Marie De Four-Gill
Editor: Ms Vaneisa Baksh [vaneisa.baksh@sta.uwi.edu]

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The UWI Marketing and Communications Office
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Email: uwitoday@sta.uwi.edu