The UWI, Mona Campus_Annual Report 2021-2022

business plans. The operational model has to change for things that are non-core to the main business of keeping the business of the University Campus alive. Some of the things that we do need to do going forward, is to reprice our product. This is not to say that we are going to price it out of the range of students, but there are some things that some people will pay more for right now. Too many are paying little for something that is of the highest quality. We have the Times Higher Education ranking but yet some of our Degrees cost less than all other universities in Jamaica. Supply and demand suggest that we should be able to negotiate better returns for ourselves. Niche programmes on which we have monopoly, need to be priced at full recovery or even at a profit as one of the things we have surely come to terms with, is that we are running a big business. Response and Preparedness for Health and Wellness The next time COVID comes, we’re not going to back away and hide in our rooms and think about ’do we need PPEs?’ ‘how do we manage?’. We are going to be better prepared both as a teaching institution and one that provides medical support for patients. – Dale Webber Having to train doctors and nurses and equip them with PPEs to respond during COVID, meant a lot of the patient cases were backed up. People who had heart conditions, hypertension, or diabetes and who were not COVID positive, seemed to have been ignored and this created more medical problems for the individuals. The bigger picture is that we must now be better prepared for the next pandemic or the next disaster or the next crisis. All the nurses and doctors who have lived through this, will now remain in their posts and that makes a big difference. In addition, we have to continue the processes that were started before, including telepsychology and counselling for victims of abuse in all areas, and seminars on health and wellness being available to a wider public. New areas like the focus on mental health and wellness should not be disbanded. Weekly sessions like “Ask the Psychologist” should serve not only students and staff, but the public as well. The opportunity offered by the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre to have vaccination at our very doorsteps, opened a new avenue in Mona Campus Health and Wellness.

The Mona Campus, through these vaccination programmes, has demonstrated know-how to initiate, conduct and efficiently deliver care to the Campus and surrounding communities, schools and corporate Jamaica.

them. We are also guided by Jamaica’s road map, our local Vision 2030. The COVID problem created a need for us to rethink/refocus. By finding the right partners we were able to move our thoughts and concepts back online to be able to continue these activities. One of these is transforming the Campus into a sustainable city. We did not set out to do this. It was not a well laid out plan. We meandered our way into it drawing on best practice here and best practice there, and affordable practices that led to affordable solutions. For instance, we sat together and considered ‘what have we done and achieved in the area waste management?’, and ‘what are we doing in the area of energy conservation?’. What we are consciously doing now is connecting the Jamaica 2030 Vision road map directly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The initiatives and processes we have taken have made us a more sustainable and resilient Campus. This has to continue. Changing the Optics The University is far too important to not have it embraced and engaged in the daily processes of what this country needs to grow. Without it, the growth of this country and the region are going to be significantly stymied. We are our own best kept secret, but now we can say that the secret is out. – Dale Webber There are still some people who see the University as ‘well you’re in that glass house over there doing your own thing’. This is far from the truth if it ever was. What COVID did perhaps was to force us to be creative in how we make our work visible. The graduate students in particular, younger, and weaned in a digital world, took advantage of social media or whatever platforms were available to put our research out there so that people became more aware of what was happening here, and how they could engage us in different ways. The Climate Change Group in the Department of Physics, got their name out there so that people were exposed to the kind of path-breaking climate change research that was being done on the Campus. This exposure of the University’s work is also being done in Computing and Life Sciences. We have found creative ways of marketing our products and our research, and that in itself sparked an interest in partnering with us to do more things. Practicability was the order of the day. They found more and

and economies in the society as we move forward, something that draws the University umbilically into the belly of the country. Many years ago, The University of the West Indies was largely dependent on the regional governments to support its existence and work. The new business model moved us towards thinking of how we should become self- financing from within. In the post-COVID era, the concept of partnerships shifts the weight of how the University has been seen as a dependency, into a mutual relationship built on core interdependencies between the society and the University. In the Jamaican setting this is something that has been coming for a while, since government contributions have been reducing and the creativity of the University has been growing. COVID probably pressed the issue even further. The common enemy of COVID stimulated the linkage for a common response. There was a knitting together to improve the chances of success, not just on our side but on the part of others. Because of the unavailability of resources all around, everybody had to become more resourceful and more resilient. A lot more organisations and firms within the country, including government entities and the private sector, reached out along with international partners such as the World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB). The government’s environmental footprint reached a lot more into the University, because as their resources were challenged they looked for partnerships. We were natural partners as for instance with the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), and the Forestry Department. We were able to bring other partners together with other entities that were not in partnership before, so we all became partners together. The concept of dependency changed from an economic one to being human and functional. This trend needs to continue.

Brokering new Gateways of Interdependency

With reciprocal partnerships of many kinds the University was able to close a lot of gaps. Whether this was in sympathy or recognising the value and thinking “oh well you’ve been doing this for so long let’s work with you on this” is irrelevant. These partnerships have happened. – Dale Webber The Orange Economy is not brand new but it is a new niche identification that we are trying to promote. COVID impacted the rollout of what we know the Orange Economy wanted to do in terms of the events. A lot of the Orange Economy required social engagement and outreach interaction with various entities, communities, and places. The pandemic also affected the research projects that our staff were going to do in this sector. Using the Campus as a pilot or as a gateway, the concepts continued to grow and while those involved in the Orange Economy were in a preparation stage, we were able to lend support. This fits in with the terms of rebuilding. We laid some foundations that are about to unleash themselves now that economies are reopening, different expressions of entertainment and culture are reopening, and what has been bottled up is now being put forward. The Institute for Caribbean Studies in the Dean’s Office has grown into an actual Department, with a newly-appointed Head of Department to enlarge its footprint in relation to the Orange Economy. The Faculty of Humanities and Education has been a leader in Caribbean and Cultural Studies. Another area of leadership is CARIMAC and yet another is the School of Education. Both in terms of research development and in the repositioning of research that fills particular niches, these areas can withstand scrutiny and transformation over the coming years. In Education for instance, a partnership developed with the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Education, to support the BOOST programme as many of the teachers who had left the profession were reengaged using a new scholarship model. What is needed is a sharpening and extending of these symbiotic relationships with institutions

Towards a Sustainable University City

I would say my greatest lesson was in having to make the Campus functional. – Dale Webber We had as our focus Sustainable Development Goals 4, 6, 13 and 14. COVID slowed down some of our work in these areas, but the foundations that we are building now are actually to refocus to be able to respond to

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