Campus News

UWI Revenue Revolution marches on

By Dixie-Ann Belle

Despite the challenges of a post-pandemic world, The UWI’s “Revenue Revolution” is showing encouraging progress. This was the pervading mood during the Annual Meeting of Campus Council on May 12 as Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Campus Principal, made her address before an audience which included Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.

Reminding those assembled that many UWI projects are advancing, the Principal declared, “What we are seeing is that, across the campus, there's tremendous work going on, work towards societal advancement, pioneering research from our scientists, from our other scholars, our educators, from our artists, from our social scientists, and our educators.”

As part of the movement to garner endurable revenue, Prof Antoine explained, a “Shark Tank” type of system had been developed, where the management team comes together to discuss and analyse projects. She also mentioned the South Oropouche Flood Mitigation Project, the HIT-RESET Climate Coastal Resilience Project, and the Volcanic Eruption Emergency Project (VEEP) among others.

“These are some of the really key things that this campus is leading on,” she said.

She expressed satisfaction with UWI Fine Cocoa, noting that the factory had been completed ahead of schedule:

“We're moving ahead to leverage our international reputation – the fact that we are leaders in cocoa research, the fact that we have the largest cocoa genebank, and that we already have international partners.”

The Principal also noted that UWI Seal-It produces roofing sealants and plastic sealants which they believe are the best in the market. She revealed that the products are also saving the campus millions as they are being used to fix roofs and do repairs.

Principal Antoine also explained that, once a feasibility study is completed, they will be going ahead with the Global School of Medicine. UWI alumni who wish to donate to the school will soon be able to do so easily and seamlessly with the TouchNet online portal.

41 new research projects

During his address, UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles praised the St Augustine campus “for embracing fully the university's strategic plan, and showing tremendous agility and energy in implementing that plan within this campus”. He stressed the importance of the revenue revolution for UWI’s future, explaining that the university has a US $50 million shortfall.

“We're not going to sit around and complain about it,” he asserted.

UWI’s research accomplishments were also a major focus. The Principal noted that without counting ongoing projects, the St Augustine campus has 41 new research projects. These have accumulated $106 million in funding. She noted the partnerships that have been created both locally and internationally, and mentioned several research highlights.

The Principal also brought up the efforts that were inspired by the pandemic. She reminded those assembled that the Faculty of Engineering constructed essential devices and protective equipment during the height of that difficult period.

As many universities are struggling to recover from the impact of the pandemic, UWI administration is viewing the future with some positivity, confident in the strategic plan which has been unfolding over recent years.

Principal Antoine noted that enrolment was down with a drop of 8 percent for undergraduates. Postgraduates also dropped by 8 percent. However, she pointed out that the drop is “in tandem with a global and local trend”.

She pointed out that while there were drops in some areas, the Faculty of Law was oversubscribed and Medical Sciences and Sport saw big increases. Certificate courses also saw an increase of 52 percent. Forty five students graduated with PhDs, the largest campus cohort in four years.

As he reflected on the progress of bolstering the university’s reputation and building revenue streams, the Vice-Chancellor stated, “When we look back 25 years from now, we will know that this was the moment where we turned around the cruise ship in the harbour.”

He added, “It's a very huge ship as you know. It's a very small harbour, but we have to turn it around gradually, and get it out on the high seas, and this is what we have started on the issues of financial sustainability.”

The UWI council meetings are the university’s annual business meetings, during which accountability of operations, finances, and all activities undertaken during the academic year are presented to the councils and campus executive governing bodies.

To read the entire UWI St Augustine 2022/2023 annual report, visit

Dixie-Ann Belle is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader.