The UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Report to University Council

Themed "75 years. Regional Transformation to Global Leadership", the report is Professor Sir Hilary Beckles' detailed account to the University Council on the significant progress made by The UWI during the 2022/2023 academic year, as well as the challenges it faced and reflections on the University's 75 years of service.

Credit: Artist Johann Bennett

Winner of the 75 th Anniversary Staff Art Competition, Mr. Johann Bennett, from the Department of Literary, Cultural and Communication Studies (DLCCS) at The UWI St. Augustine Campus. Mr. Bennett’s exceptional artwork, titled ‘Rooted, Ready, Rising – Pelicans in Flight at Pigeon Point Sunset,’ emerged as the winner of the competition, celebrating the institution’s milestone anniversary.


Have You Ever Heard The Pelican Sing Have you ever heard the Pelican sing, Dancing through the coconut trees, Sea sand rooted, ready, rising, Caressing the Caribbean breeze, New worlds, new possibilities, High above vision is clear, To see sustenance, Underwater so near, Giving thanks to The Creator of All, With a smile on its beak, It performs a free-fall, Success Granted, Homeward bound, To provide for the children, All year round, No matter what,

Vice-Chancellor’s OVERVIEW......................................................4 75 TH ANNIVERSARY.......................................................................... 8 ACTIVIST UNIVERSITY....................................................................14 SDG-ENGAGED UNIVERSITY............................................................25 PARTNERS BACKING......................................................................39 HONOURS AND SPECIAL EVENTS.....................................................45 CAMPUS REPORTS.........................................................................66 STATISTICS.................................................................................. 123 INSTITUTES, CENTRES & FACULTIES IN FOCUS.............................158 PRINCIPAL OFFICERS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES.........................................163

The seasons may bring, It is wonderful to hear, The Pelican sing. Painting & Poem by Artist Johann Bennett


Vice-Chancellor’s OVERVIEW

This reporting year finds us at The University of the West Indies in the celebration of our 75 years of service to the people of the region. Over the past 75 years, we have been steadfast, advancing the conversations, research, and pedagogy essential to steer the Caribbean forward. Despite all of the turbulence and the divisions and all of the challenges as colonial and post-colonial nations, we are hunkered down and finding ways to generate the intellectual energy and efficiency to move our people through time. 75 years Regional Transformation to Global Leadership

Our 75 years of invaluable service is indeed a major achievement. The 75 th anniversary finds our university in a very good position indeed. We are now constituted as five campuses with 10 global centres around the world. At 75, our reputation as a university has never been greater. Our global visibility as a first class ranked university, as has never been greater, so at 75 years, we are ranked as the number one Caribbean University from a field of over 100. We rank among the top 1% of universities in Latin America and the Caribbean from a community of over 2000 universities. And we rank among the top 3% of the best universities in the world from over 32,000 universities.

and were resolved to get our students through this. We transitioned over 2,000 programmes to an online modality. We ensured our students graduated as planned. So we stayed the course. We took strong decisions. And history will undoubtedly recognize our University as one that managed the COVID-19 crisis with distinction. Our colleagues have every reason to be proud of this accomplishment. Moreover, we continue to uphold the activist spirit of our University. By owning our unique brand profile as a university, we are activists in all critical areas impacting the Caribbean people. Whether it is related to Sustainable Development Goals, food security, climate change, public

Such rankings affirm our readiness to serve our people and uphold our institutional stature. It is clear that we were tested in a way that we probably have never been tested before with the COVID pandemic and we came through that process with our head held high. The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly posed an existential threat to our university. Many universities worldwide struggled to adapt. They resorted to drastic measures such as closing campuses and suspending teaching indefinitely. These universities are now grappling with the daunting task of restoring their reputation. The UWI, however, never succumbed to such drastic measures. As a management team, we hunkered down,



health issues, or any other pressing matter, we are at the forefront, providing solutions, advocating for change, and conducting extensive research. This is how we are building our University for the future, actively engaging with communities across diverse and challenging areas. We perceive the management of a university as a strategic process, demanding the finest minds to devise visions and strategies. While we follow the principles of scientific management, we firmly recognize that we must be rooted in the societal expectations and expressions of our culture. So it’s a dialectical relationship between the strategic planning and understanding the evolution of culture. At the core of our year in review stands the issue of ensuring the university’s financial sustainability. One frequently asked question is, “How are we maintaining the development of a world-class globally ranked university in a region where growth has remained stagnant for over 30 years?” How have we been able to maintain and keep going with this university in a region that has serious financial challenges that have resulted, some from the colonial legacy, others from the global movements and a world economy that have been generally speaking negative, and all of these adverse circumstances beyond our control? The explanation is straightforward. It is the solidarity between the people of the region, their governments and the university. This is an unbreakable bond. The UWI has enjoyed steadfast support from governments over the decades. The public has embraced this university, contributing to its growth and success, constantly engaging and funding it. Our people will protect and defend the institution.

Our Financial Report and University Bursar’s review demonstrate that the university secured US$60 million in grant funding for our research. Research funding is not a primary government strategy. The governments in the region in fact, invest primarily in an undergraduate experience, with strategic interventions in policy research. Therefore, the University has the responsibility to secure research support through its global partnerships. The US$60 million generated in the year in review indicates the university’s commitment to finding the necessary resources for research. This demonstrates our stakeholders’ trust and confidence in us, and our proactive stance towards securing funding. At the moment, the governments of our region are funding 48% of the university’s operational costs and student fees are at just under 20%. The university has to find, on its own, at least 30% of the resources necessary to continue its operations. We are in aggressive pursuit of that, which is why we call this phase of our Strategic Plan the Revenue Revolution , even while the application of the plan continues to be built on three pillars– Access, Alignment and Agility. Campus by campus, we are in pursuit of those resources necessary to supplement the government’s contributions so that this university can continue to thrive. We are building a culture of self help. Exporting Caribbean knowledge to the world. We may have been tested. We have not disappointed the founders and stakeholders of this university. We have demonstrated the capacity to thrive from 75 to 100 and beyond.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor, The University of the West Indies

We have not disappointed the founders and stakeholders of this university. We have demonstrated the capacity to thrive from 75 to 100 and beyond.



Revenue Revolution in action Restoring the University’s financial health is our top priority.




For the third consecutive year, The UWI sustained a leading position among the Caribbean region’s best, according to Times Higher Education (THE) 2022 Latin America University Rankings . The UWI also scored 100% in the citations (research influence) performance indicator used by the prestigious ranking agency. This score is above even the number one ranked university in Latin America; a feat The UWI also achieved in the 2021 Latin America University Rankings. This performance indicator is one of five areas assessed by THE, which looks at a university’s role in spreading new knowledge and ideas. The research influence score captures the average number of times a university’s published work is cited by scholars globally. THE’s other performance indicators include teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income

and reputation); international outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer). The UWI’s high ranking and high demand for its research is a key advantage that it aims to leverage in its 2022–2027 strategic cycle. The Revenue Revolution is focused on converting the University’s well- earned and honed international reputation into much-needed revenue, as well as enhancing the quality, quantity and impact of research to develop revenue generating industry-academic partnerships. Since its 2018 debut in the Latin America University Rankings , The UWI is still the top university from the English-speaking Caribbean among all the institutions ranked therein.

“The UWI’s research continues to significantly impact not only academia but the policy “These excellent results are the outcomes of the sustained, smart work of our academics and administrators, students and service providers.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

processes in developing countries.” Pro Vice-Chancellor, Board for Graduate Studies and Research, Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee



The UWI’s 75 th Anniversary year was deemed “magnificent” by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, as the year of celebrations was launched during a media briefing on January 6, 2023. Vice-Chancellor Beckles considered the University’s extraordinary journey during its 75 years of service to the region and beyond, commenting that this period represents “75 years of commitment to nation building. 75 years of driving forward economic and social transformation and development.” The UWI’s 75 th Anniversary initiatives were framed and aligned to reflect on the University’s past, confront the present, and articulate plans for its future.

“A moment of reflection and projection.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles “The UWI has lived up to its promise, though much more can be done and must be done.” Chancellor, Robert Bermudez

“As a university rooted in the Caribbean with global reach many share the pride and outstanding accomplishments of our wonderful academy.”

Dr. Maurice D. Smith, University Registrar, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chair, 75 th Anniversary Planning Committee





January 7, 2023 was

declared “UWI Day” commemorated with a series of proclamations by Heads of State across the

region. The date held special significance, as on that date in 1947 the governing body of the University College of the West Indies — a branch of the University of London intended to serve British colonies — assembled for its first meeting in the House of the British Council in Jamaica. It was at this first meeting that a decision was taken for lands at Mona, Jamaica to be used for establishing the first campus of The University of the West Indies. One year later, on October 4, 1948, the Campus welcomed its first class of 33 medical students.



Several events and activities were planned to commemorate this 75 th jubilee milestone. Among the memorable celebrations were: An Interfaith Convocation Service at the University Chapel at the Mona Campus on January 8. It was attended by staff, students, retirees, alumni, partners, and friends of the University. UWI Day in New York on April 20. The mayor of New York, Eric Adams, proclaimed this date “The UWI Day” at the 26 th Annual AFUWI Awards. Diamond Jubilee Week , July 17 – 22. A special Diamond Jubilee Week of celebration, from a higher education forum Beyond 75: Vision, Strategy and Leadership for Higher Education to the Vice- Chancellor’s 75 th Anniversary reception to An Evening with the University Singers. UWI 75 th T20 Cricket on Saturday, September 30. The UWI returned to its Caribbean roots with a friendly cross-campus T20 cricket tournament. Teams comprised staff, students, faculty, alumni, and all-star celebrities. Anniversary of The UWI’s First Class on October 4. Commemorating the first class for 33 medical students — a chemistry lecture by Professor Dr. Cedric Hassall. Planting of 75 Trees at Mona on October 6. Team members deployed across the 653-acre campus planted 75 saplings to symbolically mark each year of the Institution’s existence.




UWI We Rise Talent Showcase Finals on November 18. This virtual cross-campus event provided staff, students, alumni and retirees with a platform to showcase their talent in the areas of dance, voice, music and performance arts.




The UWI brought together industry leaders, partner institutions, and students for the forum themed “Beyond 75 – Vision, Strategy, and Leadership for Higher Education”. The hybrid event was held at the University’s Regional Headquarters in Jamaica and broadcast live via UWItv during its Jubilee Week held in July 2023. Two panel discussions featured an impressive line-up of panellists representing the student voice and partners from the higher education, development, private, and public sectors addressing sub-topics ranging from quality assurance, partnerships, and financing in higher education. The panel discussions were themed “The Higher Education Future We Want”, and “The Road to Achieving the Vision: Strategy & Leadership”. In his keynote address, The Honourable Dr. Terrance M. Drew, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, expressed his concern for how the education and other sectors evolve and collaborate harmoniously to ensure a better future for the people of the region. “A shared vision is an important starting point,” he said. University Registrar Dr. Maurice D. Smith reiterated that it was time to “examine how higher education institutions can remain, reimagine our traditional approach and find innovative strategies to partner with our communities.” Professor Densil A. Williams, in his (then) capacity as Pro Vice- Chancellor and Principal of the Five Islands Campus, shared concerns about the region becoming stuck in a “long time, low growth, low wage trap.” He emphasised the importance of having an access revolution for post-secondary education. “That is going to be critical if we are going to allow our people to have the kinds of skill sets needed to participate in the new economy.” He spoke in the context of the rise of artificial intelligence, and observed that the post-secondary curriculum needed to be expanded to cover new skills: “complex problem solving, emotional intelligence, creativity, and innovation.”




Two gold awards for 75 th anniversary launch campaign

The 75 th anniversary launch campaign earned ‘gold’ at the 17 th AVA Digital Awards and the 39 th Annual Educational Advertising Awards. Both prestigious international industry awards were bestowed on The UWI’s “Rooted Ready Rising” campaign. Kicking off the awareness of The UWI’s 75 th anniversary celebrations, the digital campaign included the reveal of the anniversary theme, logo and a video launch package. The three-pronged theme ‘UWI @ 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.’ gave equal emphasis to three essential aspects—celebration, reflecting upon The UWI’s historical journey and all it has achieved in the last 75 years; inspiration, articulating the essence of what The UWI means and represents to the Caribbean community; and aspiration: expressing The UWI’s forward-focused journey. It’s the sixth Gold Award for The UWI, having won global accolades for redesigning the University’s central website, in 2022, special Climate Action Report and COVID-19 Website in 2021. The University Marketing and Communications Office, responsible for the institutional promotion of the regional academy, led the 75 th anniversary launch campaign and the 75 th anniversary logo, and the anniversary launch videos were all developed by in- house talent. Commenting on the international recognition, University Director, Marketing & Communications, Dr. Rhonda Jaipaul-O’Garro said, “In addition to our

innovative and creative marketing and branding strategies, this award acknowledges the hard work and dedication of our system-wide marketing and communication teams at the Vice-Chancellery and across our campuses. We at The UWI have proven our capability to create powerful and compelling brand stories as a global brand of excellence by winning these awards.” University Registrar, Dr. Maurice D. Smith who served as Chair of the Central Planning Committee for the 75 th anniversary celebrations noted, “As the curtains close on the yearlong celebrations, and news comes of these awards, I am delighted that our University Marketing and Communications Team has once again been recognised for its excellence and diligence. These awards certainly serve to underscore the expertise that not only is theirs but also the University’s given its invaluable contribution to the region and beyond. I am sure my colleagues are encouraged and remain even further committed to serving with the distinction for which they are known.”





US$750,000 Open Society grant for UWI-led Reparatory Justice initiatives

As a global powerhouse in philanthropy, Open Society Foundations (OSF) has generously granted US$750,000 to the promotion of Reparatory Justice in the reporting year. This bolsters an already strong partnership in working towards a better world, as outlined and confirmed in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between OSF and The UWI in September 2020. In response to the transatlantic slave trade and its enduring legacy, The UWI has demonstrated global leadership in promoting and achieving reparatory justice. The grant not only promotes global awareness, activism, and action regarding reparatory justice but also fosters stronger Caribbean-Africa engagement through sustained support for academic programmes, research, and advocacy. The non-UGC funding source supports global and regional activities through five interlocking UWI institutions-The Centre for Reparations Research, the PJ Patterson Institute for African-Caribbean Advocacy, University of Lagos-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies Centre for African-Caribbean history and culture, University of Johannesburg-UWI Centre for Global African Studies and UWItv. The institutions will undertake diverse activities, ranging from academic courses and research to faculty and student exchanges, all aimed at advancing reparatory justice. Their ultimate goal is to educate, advocate, and provide accurate, transformative information for the global community, as The UWI continues to positively impact the broader international community through reparatory justice.

Throw back from 2020 Virtual MOU Signing Ceremony - Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and then President of Open Society Foundations, Ambassador Patrick Gaspard on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Jasmine Mickens Program Manager, Global Justice Advancing Intersectional Justice Open Society Foundations



UWI IN TIME | Slavery Reparations are Coming

The article foregrounds the epicentre roles of Barbados, The UWI and its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

The UWI’s efforts to encourage reparations for slavery were the subject of a July 2023 cover of TIME magazine, which featured an article entitled “Slavery Reparations are Coming”. The article foregrounds the epicentre roles of Barbados, The UWI and its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. This coverage bears witness that the world is on the cusp of a major structural transition driven by reparatory justice, an inspired development jointly effected by the Caribbean’s only indigenous, world- ranked university and its CARICOM partners.





On February 27, 2023 at a forum co-hosted by the Grenada National Reparations Committee (GNRC) and The UWI, members of the Trevelyan family delivered a public apology and a personal contribution of £100,000 to begin righting the wrongs of their ancestors, who owned more than 1,000 slaves in the 19 th Century. The first point in the Caribbean-led reparatory justice programme championed by The UWI and CARICOM calls for ‘formal and sincere apology’ as a precondition of healing for descendants of enslaved peoples. Accompanied by seven of her relatives, British- American BBC anchor/correspondent Laura Trevelyan read an apology signed by 104 of the descendants of the part owners of six plantations in Grenada. The Trevelyans acknowledged slavery as “a crime against humanity,” and noted “its damaging effect continues to present day”. Conversations with the Trevelyans and the Government of Grenada were guided by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who affirmed the transformative significance of the family’s initiative. “These developments require courage and commitment to look into your history, your past and to recognise that a crime has been committed, a crime that has led to your own enrichment and privilege, and to be able to say this was wrong.” “The reparations movement is a call for partnership,” he asserted. “It’s a call for diminishing

the debt owed to the people of this region. And it’s a call to have a shared vision for the future.” He clarified, “We’re not calling for racial strife. We’re not calling for international conflict. We believe reparations is the key for a win-win strategy for both sides of this conversation.” The money will be used to establish an education fund for The UWI Open Campus. Other Trevelyan family members have also made commitments towards bursaries for The UWI Open Campus, Grenada, the Grenada Education and Development Programme, while others have offered their time to ongoing projects in Grenada.

“We repudiate our ancestors’ involvement and urge the British government to enter into meaningful negotiations with the governments of the Caribbean to make appropriate reparations.” The Trevelyan Family




The UWI Centre for Reparation Research and the PJ Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy held an all-day symposium themed “Reparations and Royalty, Africa and Europe: Exploding Myths and Empowering Truths” at Regional Headquarters on March 2, 2023 and a Youth Forum titled “Wha Gwaan Africa?!” at the Mona Campus on March 3. This was in part to address the dangerous arguments by 19 th Century traders and their allies that African commercial and political interests were their business partners in the Trans-Atlantic Trade of Africans. A high-level delegation of royal African traditional leaders was hosted by the CARICOM Reparations Commission, who led conversations on the roles of African and European Royalties in said trans-Atlantic trafficking. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles provided historical context on the relationship between Europeans and Africans, emphasising that it is critical to examine the two sides of the equation. “While the royal families of Europe were organising their armies, building their corporations and establishing structures for the destruction of societies in Africa, so as to secure enchained and enslaved labour, the royal families of Africa were on the receiving end of that violence.” He underscored, “No group of people have been more denigrated by the historians of Europe than the kings, queens and nobles of Africa within the context of colonization.”

“Reparations justice has to take place, and Africa has to join in.” His Royal Highness Paul Jones Eganda, Global Chief and President, Ateker International Development Organization (AIDO) Network

of royal traditional leaders and other royals in Africa, their responsibilities and roles, the importance of reconnecting the Caribbean with African culture and traditions, the need for reparatory justice for people of African descent, and how young people could contribute to that process. The symposium was part of a visit by the high- level delegation, which visited from February 26 to March 6 for a series or activities arranged by their hosts. Countries represented included Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, and the Zulu Nation of South Africa.

His Royal Highness Paul Jones Eganda, Global Chief and President, Ateker International Development Organization (AIDO) Network, revealed that approximately 657 kingdoms and cultural institutions are affiliated with the network. He said, “This royal delegation has travelled to Jamaica with one objective, to demonstrate to you, our dear family of Africa in the Caribbean, that we are not a race created as slaves. The fact is that we have a rich, proud, living history of royalty in Africa that still exists today which we represent here.” The Youth Forum examined the significance





As the Caribbean region marked 185 years of emancipation from slavery, history unfolded in Barbados with a convergence of African Union, CARICOM and civil society leaders for a high-level Study Tour on Reparations and Racial Healing. Partners included the African Union Economic Social and Cultural Council (AU- ECOSOCC) and The UWI, with Vice-Chancellor and CARICOM Reparations Commission Chair, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles as a key contributor. A need was identified to create a political framework to guide cooperation on issues of reparative justice between the African continent, the Caribbean and Latin America. There is also a need to ensure that the reparations dialogue incorporates shared and contemporary challenges. The historic study tour was the result of the February 2023 decision of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government which called for a Common African Position and Programme of Action on reparations and reparative justice. Other key partners in the convening of the study tour included the Caribbean Pan African Network (CPAN), the Government of Barbados, with the Open Society Foundations serving as a facilitator.

“There is only so much the diaspora can do without the powerful voice and solidarity of African political leadership…finally, as in the Caribbean, African governments have now come on board. We believe this will change the entire trajectory of reparatory justice.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

Caribbean Community




In September 2023 The UWI and the University of Glasgow (U of G) welcomed the first cohort of students in the double degree MA/MSc in Reparatory Justice, a joint programme with the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research, which was established in 2019. The taught double degree master’s programme targets current and emerging social activists, CARICOM citizens, and members of the Caribbean and African diaspora. The programme’s unique features include a partnership between The UWI and U of G for teaching, research and education. The programme is focused on the Caribbean and the reparations movement but draws on case studies from the wider global context. It also offers collaboration with research centres in Europe, the Americas and Africa. Students will graduate with both a degree from The UWI and the University of Glasgow. This alliance between the two universities represents one of the earliest triumphs in the quest for reparatory justice, as the U of G has acknowledged that it had been supported and funded by the profits from slavery in the past. Dr. Christine Whyte, a lecturer in global history and co-founder of the Beniba centre for slavery studies at Glasgow University, has said that the programme aims to “uncover and explore the historical legacies that lead to claims for reparations, investigate the legal, political and social means of making those claims, and give students the skills to go out and try to redress historical injustices”.

First cohort in the MA/MSc Reparatory Justice programme.

This alliance between the two universities represents one of the earliest triumphs in the quest for reparatory justice, as the U of G has acknowledged that it had been supported and funded by the profits from slavery in the past.

The Emancipation ‘Bussa’ Statue, Bridgetown, Barbados. This monument was erected by the government and people of Barbados in 1985 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of Barbadians from the institution of slavery. Sculptor – Karl Broodhagen




The Vice-Chancellor’s Forums are a series of public presentations, organized by Vice-Chancellor Beckles, which foster ongoing discourse among regional and international experts about an array of topical issues. The forums provide insightful analysis, perspectives, and context to significant political, social, and economic occurrences both regionally and globally. In the reporting period, the forums addressed such pertinent topics as Artificial Intelligence, the Bridgetown Initiative, Gender Justice, and the impact of the Patterson Commission Report on reshaping Caribbean education.




It’s a little- known fact that International Men’s Day, recognised annually on November 19, is a home-grown occasion at The UWI, since

it was founded in 1999 by Historian, Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh, and subsequently adopted globally. The University’s Institute of Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) commemorated the day in service to gender justice with a Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on November 17, 2022 themed “Men Fostering Gender Justice”. The virtual forum featured a panel of expert gender and human rights activists who examined gender policies and equality. It recognised men who work for gender justice, who are working to uphold positive models of fatherhood, men who challenge the harmful norms of rigid gender roles and ideologies, and those working to end gender-based violence. This special international day also provided an opportunity to learn about men’s allyship with women and non-binary persons to achieve equitable and just societies in our region, and for men working toward gender justice to support one another.





On July 21, 2023, The UWI, in collaboration with the Caribbean Centre for Educational Planning (CCEP), hosted a Vice-Chancellor’s Forum to discuss the Orlando Patterson Commission Report. The Report, which presents a comprehensive review and assessment of Jamaica’s education system, was examined by regional education experts during a two-hour hybrid event. Several regional experts delivered addresses, including Chair, Reverend Ronald Thwaites, former Minister of Education in Jamaica; Ambassador Richard Bernal, Chair of the Advisory Board of the CCEP; Dr. Canute Thompson, Head of the Caribbean Centre for Educational Planning at The UWI; and Professor Silvia Kouwenberg, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Education at Mona Campus. The conversation centred upon the implications of the findings and recommendations of the Orlando Patterson Commission Report for the education system in Jamaica and elements of the report which may be applicable across the Caribbean. There was also heavy emphasis on matters such as societal and economic justice, inclusion, communications technology, equity for differently abled students, and a more accessible scope of language that eliminates the elitism of English-speakers. Dr. Canute Thompson revealed direct correlations between participation in tertiary education and a country’s innovation index and quality of social life measured, among other things, by the murder rate. Feature presentations were followed by a panel discussion and question and answer segment which included several regional subject matter experts.




With the eruption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT, higher education experts are concerned about where these tools fit in the academic space. As such, a Vice-Chancellor’s Forum focused on “Artificial Intelligence (AI): A Blessing or Curse for Higher Education”. Held on May 9, 2023, it placed education experts on a panel to discuss the unfolding issues. Pro Vice-Chancellor, Board for Undergraduate Studies, Professor C. Justin Robinson, organiser and moderator for the forum, opened the session introducing the topic on behalf of Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. The consensus of the panel was that it is neither blessing nor curse. Instead, as observed by panel member, Ms. Patti West-Smith, Director, Customer Engagement Team, Turnitin, it provides the opportunity to “improve the quality of work for educators and meaningfully impact the learning outcomes for students”. The panel cautioned that AI tools are dependent on information produced by others and as such are inherently biased. They also discussed the extreme option of banning AI from higher education on the grounds that the tools could constitute cheating and encourage unoriginal thinking, but the experts were unified in their position that with the technology already in use and expected to continue, the idea of banning AI tools likely comes from a place of fear. Instead, it should instead be used strategically to empower students to think originally and critically, and they should be given guardrails around how these tools could be used effectively and ethically.




GRANT OF US$300,000 FOR NATURE-BASED COASTAL SOLUTIONS UWI researchers secured a grant of US$300,000 from Future Earth, a global network of scientists, researchers and innovators, to conduct research into designing sustainable nature-based coastal solutions. Research will take place in Trinidad and Tobago, the USA, Barbados and Jamaica. Traditional hard engineering coastal structures like seawalls, dikes and breakwaters can be valuable for mitigating coastal hazards but are often not adaptable to climate changes, can harm the environment, negatively impact cultural and socio-economic aspects of communities, lack aesthetic appeal especially in the context of tourism, and require maintenance. The project, entitled “Engineering the Design of Nature- Based Solutions for Sustainable Development”, seeks nature- based solutions to mitigate several of these challenges and which would be economically viable and adaptable specifically for Caribbean SIDS. Work will include generating comprehensive datasets from physical and numerical modelling of beach vegetation, coral reefs and mangrove systems; collating and processing wave, current, water level and wind data; and simulating existing and projected hydrodynamics in coastal areas. The data will be transformed into meaningful knowledge that can be used by stakeholders involved in co-designing coastal solutions and related decision-making. Funding covers the period from May 2023 to April 2025.

Traditional hard engineering coastal structures like seawalls, dikes and breakwaters can be valuable for mitigating coastal hazards but are often not adaptable to climate changes






A virtual Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on The Bridgetown Initiative, held on March 30, 2023, brought expert stakeholder voices and Caribbean citizens to the same table for an important conversation on finance mobilisation for climate change. According to the 2022 report of an Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance, US$2 trillion is required annually for developing countries to respond to the effects of climate change. The impressive team, led by Vice-

Professor Anthony Clayton, The UWI’s leading expert in foresighting and future-oriented planning, has been recruited by The Inter-Academy Partnership (IAP) to participate in an initiative to assemble solutions for climate change and health policies. The IAP

is a network of over 140 national science academies and 30,000 scientists, engineers and health professionals in over 100 countries. It will lead a global programme to encourage multisectoral, systems- based studies and policies needed, with the goal of embedding these ideas into government thinking and practice. Professor Clayton will join the committee that will review the best available solutions to sustain human health and welfare under the severe challenges of climate change and choose those that are to go forward to world governments.

Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, put out a call for a global coalition to fund climate mitigation and adaptation. The Vice-Chancellor referenced the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944, which eventually birthed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. He questioned whether the Bretton Woods institutions are coming to the rescue of vulnerable Caribbean nations, who “through no fault of their own have found themselves at the bottom end of the global recovery process” and called the situation “a moral crisis”. He promised the support of The UWI in the matter of economic justice for the region as appeals go out for more donor funding to make up for the gaps in public sector funding. The Bridgetown Initiative, which proposed significant reform of the global finance architecture in favour of climate-vulnerable countries and was devised by a group led by Barbadian Prime Minister The Honourable Mia Mottley, has been dubbed the most significant global policy initiative to originate from the Caribbean in recent times.




INTERNATIONAL MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP FOR 12 UWI STUDENTS Twelve undergraduate students were among an international cohort of student leaders awarded Millennium fellowships to manage real-world projects that help advance UN SDGs. They were selected from 31,000 applicants worldwide for the semester-long leadership development programme coordinated by the Millennium Campus Network (MCN) and the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). Just over 3,000 Millennium Fellows were chosen on 200 university campuses in 37 nations. The UWI Millennium Fellows worked on “The Upliftment Project”, tutoring and providing mentorship to underprivileged children in Kingston, Jamaica, with the goal of increasing young Jamaicans’ access to education, information, and opportunities essential for their holistic development. The undergraduate leaders also received training, connections and credentials as they took action to advance the 17 UN SDGs and 10 UNAI Principles.

Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Thelma Krug, spoke at the 2022 Americas Conference on Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) hosted at The UWI Regional Headquarters in August 2022. The conference, organised by the Inter-American Institute (IAI) for Global Change Research, was themed “Science, Governance, and Implications for the Region”. Presentations were made on current work and research as well as future possibilities in the Americas and across the globe. With the level and nature of climate threats faced by Small Island States of the Caribbean, SRM is a proposed response to some of the risks but cannot be considered an alternative to emissions reductions or adaptation. The conference was a collaborative effort by the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (C2G); the Degrees Initiative (formerly the SRM Governance Initiative); the Inter- American Institute (IAI) for Global Change Research and The UWI, with support from the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS).




CAF US$10 million grant agreement

In November 2022, The UWI signed a Grant Administration Agreement with the CAF Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean at a ceremony witnessed by Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, among other local and regional government and financing figures. The US$10 million was provided by the Adaptation Fund for the Trinidad and Tobago: Multisectoral Adaptation Measures to Climate Change in the South Oropouche river basin for a flood relief project. This project was conceptualized at the Conference of Parties (COP25) in 2019. The UWI is the executing entity responsible for receiving the funds and implementing the project. The UWI Engineering Institute of the Faculty of Engineering is the technical/project management arm, while the St. Augustine Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (STACIE) will provide administration and contract management. In addition to the US$10m adaptation project, the CAF-UWI Memorandum of Understanding, has also enabled the CAF-UWI Knowledge Forum held at RHQ in November 2023, support for student scholarships through the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI), the delivery of online courses on Leadership for Transformation as well as Governance and Public Innovation with The UWI Cave Hill Campus, sponsorship of H2RC – the first Hydrogen Research Collaboration Conference at The UWI St. Augustine Campus and support for conferences/seminars such as the UWI Institute of International Relations (IIR) webinar on “Latin America-Caribbean relations in a multipolar world”.

The UWI extends congratulations to Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy, on her appointment as Regional Manager for the Caribbean at CAF Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean

Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy Regional Manager for the Caribbean CAF - Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean.



NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH CAF In February 2023, The University of the West Indies (UWI) and CAF Development Bank of Latin America

and the Caribbean signed an agreement during the CARICOM Heads of Government Meetings, held in Nassau, to promote knowledge generation and economic and social policy decision-making in the Caribbean region. This partnership will bolster initiatives across key sectors, including research, data collection, and analysis related to development issues affecting Latin America and the Caribbean, with a special focus on the English-speaking Caribbean’s historical, political, and socioeconomic landscapes. It will foster innovation and entrepreneurship to support business incubation and private sector growth in the Caribbean, as well as strengthen institutional capacity to enhance the productivity and sustainability of regional research and innovation and knowledge centres, focusing on critical issues like climate change, economic diversification, food and energy security, and sport for development. Activities planned include seminars, conferences, and joint meetings, specialized academic and professional development courses, exchanges of teachers and students, internship opportunities at CAF, academic materials exchanges, research data transfers, and the English translation of CAF’s MOOCs.




US$250,000 FOR UWI-HOSTED GLOBAL TOURISM RESILIENCE CENTRE A US$250,000 sustainability grant was awarded to The UWI to support the hosting of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) from Airbnb, the online marketplace for short-term homestays. The grant will be used to support the Building Climate Knowledge, Attitudes and Awareness Across the Caribbean (Project: C-KAP) led by the Centre, to help raise awareness among Caribbean Micro, Small and Medium Sized Tourism Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) about the importance of climate-responsible practices in their operations, as well as encourage them to take urgent action to combat climate change.


A collaborative project undertaken by The UWI, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (FS) to support Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) through upskilling and digitalization was announced as a winner of the 2022 Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards. The Business Adaptation Programme, developed to assist tourism MSMEs in the Eastern Caribbean, received the 2022 Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards in the category of Tourism Education and Training, and was honoured at a virtual awards ceremony in February 2023. The programme was a response to an invitation by the UNDP’s office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean to partner to assist more than 300 Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) increase their digital skills resilience to external shocks and access new markets within the tourism value chain. The UNDP Future Tourism Project was formulated as a response to the effects of COVID-19 on the tourism sector and its subsequent impact on MSMEs. Through a series of online sessions hosted by the University’s Open Campus, the MSMEs were equipped with tailored training, coaching and mentorship, informed of steps to digitalization and provided with information surrounding digital technologies, marketing and financial planning. CARIBBEAN SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AWARDS

The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) held its inaugural conference, the Global Tourism Resilience Conference, in February 2023 at The UWI’s Regional Headquarters in Mona, Jamaica. The three‐day conference was the first of its kind, designed to bring the global tourism community together to discuss investment opportunities, debate solutions to today’s most pressing challenges, and increase cooperation for greater global resilience across the industry. Global Tourism Resilience Day, which was initiated by The UWI’s Professor Lloyd Waller and designated by the United Nations General Assembly as an annual observance on February 17, was also launched.




The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution to designate February 17 annually as Global Tourism Resilience Day. The resolution was initiated by The UWI’s Professor Lloyd Waller, who also serves as Executive Director of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) at The UWI Mona Campus. Global Tourism Resilience Day aims to emphasise the need to foster resilient tourism development to deal with shocks, taking into account the vulnerability of the tourism sector to emergencies. The observance was launched at the first annual Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Jamaica. According to Professor Waller, “The resolution can be considered a monumental triumph for Jamaica and The UWI, and a significant contribution to the future of the global tourism industry.”





In April 2023, an interdisciplinary group of researchers who worked collaboratively to address

cancer and health disparities in patient populations of African descent received the prestigious American Association for Cancer Research Team Science Award for innovation and meritorious science. Lecturer in Public Health at The Cave Hill Campus, Dr. Natalie Greaves, was a member of the winning African Caribbean Cancer Consortium Team (AC3). The team was recognised for furthering the study of viral, genetic, environmental, and lifestyle risk factors for cancer in patient populations. These factors have demonstrated far- reaching implications for the improvement of cancer etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention in Black patient populations worldwide.

The team was recognised for furthering the study of viral, genetic, environmental, and lifestyle risk factors for cancer in patient populations.




In the March 2023 volume of The Lancet of the Americas, members of The UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences contextualize the existing burden of mental health disease that afflicts the Caribbean and the accelerated burden that COVID-19 precipitated. The article is titled “Leveraging Research, Community and Collaboration Towards Robust COVID-19 Mental Health Response in the Caribbean” and quotes medical literature statistics that demonstrate high levels of anxiety and depression (669 per 100,000 in 2019) within the Caribbean in the pre-pandemic era. The complex interface of COVID-19 and mental health may aggravate these statistics. It further notes that the downstream effects of disrupted global mental health are direct disease and, indirectly, loss of quality of life — all with significant hidden costs. The article stresses that COVID-19 should be considered both an acute short- term and chronic long-term stressor on mental health. As such it calls for CARICOM to be enabled as a regional health body to recognise and prioritize the mental health of its people and develop a sustainable plan for action.


Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108 Page 109 Page 110 Page 111 Page 112 Page 113 Page 114 Page 115 Page 116 Page 117 Page 118 Page 119 Page 120 Page 121 Page 122 Page 123 Page 124 Page 125 Page 126 Page 127 Page 128 Page 129 Page 130 Page 131 Page 132 Page 133 Page 134 Page 135 Page 136 Page 137 Page 138 Page 139 Page 140 Page 141 Page 142 Page 143 Page 144 Page 145 Page 146 Page 147 Page 148 Page 149 Page 150 Page 151 Page 152 Page 153 Page 154 Page 155 Page 156 Page 157 Page 158 Page 159 Page 160 Page 161 Page 162 Page 163 Page 164

Made with FlippingBook Online document maker