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UWI AT 70

THE GLEANER, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2018

D4

THE MONA campus of the

University of the West Indies last

year led the charts in the value of

scholarships disbursed across its

three main campuses, and their

alumni and businesses were big

donors.

Of the approximately $870

million disbursed, the Mona

campus had annual scholarships

valued at $757 million.

Pro vice-chancellor for

undergraduate studies, as well as

for access and quality, Professor

Alan Cobley describes the

scholarship disbursement as

“very substantial”.

He revealed that for Barbados’

Cave Hill campus, the annual

scholarships were valued around

US$635,000 (J$85.7 million)

while at the St Augustine

campus in Trinidad and Tobago,

US$186,000 (J$25.1 million) was

disbursed.

“Even as we have been going

through hard financial times

across the Caribbean, as our

budgets are being squeezed,

one thing that has not shrunk is

our scholarship funding,” Cobley

said.

According to the pro vice-

chancellor, The UWI has worked

very hard to continue offering

scholarships.

“Our alumni and business

houses across the region have

stepped up and have increased

their scholarship funding year-

on-year, so it’s been one of the

real bright spots,” he said.

Cobley said that this

demonstrates that there is a very

clear understanding that the

region’s brightest and best

young people must attain a

university education.

– L.S.

Mona

Cave Hill

St Augustine

$757m

$25.1m

$85.7m

Distribution of annual UWI scholarships

Mona leads in

scholarship

disbursements

160

Open scholarships

offered

US$340k

Total cost of scholarships

awarded by the Board of

Undergraduate Studies

324

Total number of

students supported

regionally, including 152

donor-sponsored

scholarships

17

CSEC/UWI scholarships

awarded

UWI 2017 scholarship

facts

Lynford Simpson/Contributor

I

T IS probably one of The University of

the West Indies’ most poignant

endowments: the Professor Barry

Chevannes Peace Scholarship.

It was established last year in honour of

the late professor to celebrate 2016, a year

with no murders in August Town, one of

the communities on the doorsteps of the

Mona campus, where he worked for years

to improve the social conditions.

Since 2016, there has been some

regression with murders in August Town as

warring gangsters target each other.

However, what happened in 2016 is

regarded as a major achievement for any

community in Jamaica with similar social

characteristics.

Only a resident of August Town can

benefit from the Professor Barry

Chevannes Peace Scholarship.

“We wanted to celebrate that moment of

community success and solidarity and to

propagate it with a peace scholarship,” said

Professor Alan Cobley, pro vice-chancellor,

undergraduate studies with responsibility

for access and quality at The UWI.

Among the criteria for the scholarship is

that the recipient must be active in the

community.

Although the Professor Barry Chevannes

Peace Scholarship is specific to the Mona

campus, roughly 1,000 applications are

received each year for other grants called

open scholarships.

According to the pro vice-chancellor,

scholarship awardees must maintain a

grade point average of at least 3.0 to

secure their scholarship for the duration of

their studies.

NO DISCRIMINATION

Cobley stressed that The UWI does not

discriminate on the basis of socio-economic

background in the award of scholarships

since some are given solely on merit.

“What we do have is a number of

scholarships that are specifically targeted

to socio-economic groups that are not fully

represented or we would like to see

represented at The UWI,” he said.

In this regard, Cobley pointed out that

the university, in its origin, had space for

only a very small elite in the region but

that the administration was working to

change that position.

“Over the past 20-plus years, The UWI

has been committed to democratising

access to tertiary education in the region.

Access is one of the key themes of The

UWI’s current strategic plan.

He said that no student in the region

who has the capacity to benefit from a

tertiary education should be denied access

because of socio-economic status.

“We cannot talk about access to the

university without thinking about how our

students will be able to afford to come to

our university, and so scholarships that are

targeted at those who are struggling to

find the means to come to university are

very important in helping us to attain that

broadening of access to the university,”

Cobley said.

One alumnus, who requested anonymity,

recently offered US$250,000 for

scholarships to students not on the basis

of academic merit, but based on economic

need.

Nonetheless, Cobley stressed that in

order to qualify for any scholarship, the

potential recipient must matriculate into

the university.

“For those who participate in the

scholarship programmes as donors, one of

the great joys they have is seeing bright,

young people achieve their best because

of the support they received,” he said.

Barry Chevannes Peace Scholarship,

a poignant endowment

Sir Arthur Lewis 1960-1963:

Saint Lucia

Prof Rex Nettleford 1998-2004:

Jamaica (first UWI alumnus to be vice-chancellor)

Prof E. Nigel Harris 2004-

2015:

Guyana

Prof Sir Hilary Beckles 2015-Present:

Barbados

VICE-

CHANCELLORS:

Sir Philip Sherlock 1963-1969:

Jamaica

Sir Roy Marshall 1969-1974:

Barbados

Aston Preston 1974-1986:

Jamaica

Prof Leslie Robinson

1986-1988 (Acting):

Jamaica

Sir Alister Mcintyre 1988-1998:

Grenada

VICE-

CHANCELLORS

& PRINCIPALS:

Professor Stafford Griffith/Contributor

THE UNIVERSITY of the West Indies

(UWI) recently established the Office for

Online Learning (OOL) to guide the

rapid expansion of online delivery of

courses and programmes from all four

of its campuses – the Cave Hill Campus,

the Mona Campus, the St Augustine

Campus, and the Open Campus.

This reflects a committed effort on

the part of The UWI to improve access of

a number of underserved communities,

regionally and globally, to university

education.

The OOL seeks to facilitate greater

access to university education by

increasing the online delivery of its

undergraduate and graduate courses

and programmes, both synchronously

and asynchronously.

In online synchronous delivery, the

instruction is delivered and received

simultaneously, whereas in online

asynchronous delivery, the instruction is

delivered and received at different times.

The online synchronous delivery of

courses and programmes will benefit

students who wish to have a university

education

to

improve

their

competencies in a particular area but

are unable to do so for a number of

reasons, including:

(i) distance from a physical campus that

offers face-to-face classes;

(ii) physical or other impediments that

make it difficult to take classes at a

physical campus; or

(iii) issues of age or ageing that

challenge participation in a regular

face-to-face programme.

However, these are not the only

students who can benefit from online

synchronous delivery. Students

anywhere in the global community,

with a time zone that is similar to that of

The UWI’s may easily take courses or

programmes delivered synchronously

from any of the four campuses and

participate as if they were in the same

classroom.

DIVERSIFYING COURSES

A few departments of The UWI have

already been delivering courses and

programmes in this way. Indeed, some

departments have been delivering

courses concurrently – face-to-face and

online. The OOL will expand the number

of courses and programmes delivered

synchronously by the four campuses of

the university.

As may be evident, online synchronous

delivery becomes challenging for

students in time zones that are

significantly different from that of the

location from which a course or

programme is delivered. The UWI

overcomes this challenge through

asynchronous delivery of courses and

programmes. Thus, a student in a

markedly different time zone in the

global community may still access a

course or programme if delivered

asynchronously. The same is true of a

student in full-time employment whose

hours of work militate against getting to a

campus or participating synchronously at

times in the day that a course or

programme is delivered. For courses or

programmes delivered asynchronously,

the time of the day when a student is

available to participate or the location of

the student is inconsequential.

Through its two modes of delivery, the

OOL is providing access to an increasing

number of courses and programmes for

students in the Caribbean and the

global community. In the global

community, the OOL will target:

(i) students from the Caribbean

Diaspora who wish to benefit from

particular offerings at The UWI to

improve in areas where they would like

to acquire greater expertise grounded

in Caribbean experience;

(ii) members of the wider global

community who wish to acquire a

better understanding of issues

surrounding Caribbean development

because of their interests in the region,

including researchers as well as staff of

the global diplomatic or development-

assistance community who may need to

serve in the Caribbean region or

participate in decision making in their

respective organisations that impacts

the region; and

(iii) those who wish to broaden their

education of the region for personal

development or in anticipation of

visiting, serving, or living in the region.

The critical point is that the OOL will

support the global reach of The UWI by

providing global access to more of its

programmes and courses.

Professor Stafford Griffith is director of The

UWI’s Regional Office of Online Learning.

The University of the West Indies, Mona’s Main Library.

GLADSTONE TAYLOR/PHOTOGRAPHER

Expanding access to university education

…a committed effort on the part of the

UWI to improve access of a number of

underserved communities, regionally and

globally, to university education.