OUR GUESTS ARE AS GOOD AS YOURS…
partners with The University of the West Indies for a special
guest editors’ edition. It is part of our recognition of the 70th anniversary of The
University of the West Indies.
The institution, with its main campuses in Mona, Jamaica; Cave Hill, Barbados; St
Augustine, Trinidad andTobago; and an Open Campus, has helped to shape significant
elements of Caribbean history in academics, sports, research, and other areas.
But just how has The UWI weathered the challenges over the years? Is it
meeting current expectations? And, what is its prospect as the region’s premier
tertiary training institution?
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles leads a team of five who have
taken the editor’s office for this special issue. Enjoy!
SEPTEMBER 3, 2018
| VOL 184 . NO 209 . PAGES: 56 | KINGSTON, JAMAICA |www.jamaica-gleaner.com
MORE IN SECTION D
30 students head to
UWI’s China centre.
Data protection, NIDS for
Have Caribbean youth
lost activism voice?
From Shakespeare to
Shabba Ranks: Revising
Blind and brilliant.
IMAGINE BEING swindled over
and over again because you
cannot tell the differences
among bank notes and coins.
That was the challenge
Trinidadian police officer Marlon
Parieaho faced when he lost his
sight to glaucoma in 2010.
Then, four years later, he
met Jamaican Ramone Graham,
a graduate of the Department
of Electrical and Computer
Engineering at UWI, St Augustine.
Graham had been working on
technology solutions to help
blind and visually impaired
citizens navigate the streets of
Trinidad and Tobago. Through
Graham’s intervention, within a
year, 22-year-old undergraduate
student Jesse Saito had been
recruited and mentored by Dr
Akash Pooransingh to develop
the Maverick mobile application,
which is now being used by
visually impaired people to
distinguish among different
denominations of Trinidadian
Maverick is the first of its kind
in the region and improves on
international apps, which cannot
accurately identify regional
In all instances, emphasis has
HE UNIVERSITY of the West Indies
(UWI) is projecting that by 2022
when its strategic planning cycle
ends, it will be operational on every
“We are not stopping here,” said Vice-
Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.
Already, the UWI has established
teaching and research centres in Suzhou,
China; New York, USA; and Lagos, Nigeria.
According to Beckles, the UWI Lagos
Centre for African and Diaspora Culture
established at the University of Lagos will
be rolled out in the coming weeks at the
The UWI has planned other teaching
and research centres for South Africa,
England, the European Union, and
“Wherever the region has an interest,
The UWI will be there to serve. This is our
role. We will be active and not passive
when it comes to development,” Beckles
He said that at the moment, the
Caribbean has to be more globally
competitive, and so it needs a more
relevant and respected university.
“High-quality universities are not
established to serve themselves, but to
serve their nations and communities,” said
Beckles, who started his sojourn at The
UWI almost 40 years ago as a 24-year-old
lecturer at Mona.
The global projection is part of a five-
year UWI strategy, known as the Triple
‘A’, focusing on access to affordable
tertiary education, alignment of academia
with industry, and agility in a global
ENHANCING THE UWI BRAND
At the same time, Beckles said that the
overarching objective is to enhance the
UWI brand and upgrade its reputation to
provide the region with 21st-century
service and leadership.
The first test of UWI’s capacity for
global agilit y came in 2013 when
President Xi Jinping of China visited the
region and signed a treaty providing for
mutual technology cooperation.
The university then engaged regional
governments and moved to establish an
Office for Global Affairs with the
involvement of Jamaican diplomat
Professor Richard Bernal.
Be c k l e s i s pa r t i c u l a r l y e xc i t ed
about technology cooperation with
“It was based on the recognition that
Caribbean industry would benefit from
this area of innovation, and it would ‘skill
up’ the next generation of students in
science and technology for the region’s
success during the Fourth Industrial
Revolution,” he said.
UWI GONE GLOBAL
Students of The University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus during a visit to partner institution, the Global Institute of Software Technology, in China this summer.