Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin believes it is only “a matter of formality” that the governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados were given further time to consider the prospect of a University of the West Indies (UWI) campus in Antigua and Barbuda.
Despite already receiving the green light to establish the fourth landed campus in the country, the UWI Council decided to grant the two countries more time.
Benjamin stated, “The committee’s recommendations have all been fully accepted. It is only a matter of formality just to give those two nations the opportunity for further discussions on the matter.
“Antigua and Barbuda has met every criterion to establish, in this state, the fourth landed campus.”
Benjamin and Education Minister Michael Browne traveled to Trinidad and Tobago late last week for a meeting with UWI officials about arrangements for the fourth landed campus.
Benjamin also discussed one of the recommendations by the technical committee regarding the administrative structure of the new university campus.
He said, “The report of the technical committee was that the proposal to establish the committee in Antigua was both sound and feasible operationally.
“But it would not be based on the old model because the old model was more than 50 years old and did not reflect the model used to establish new universities.”
Over the weekend, Prime Minister Browne accused some Caribbean countries of harboring petty jealousy for opposing the opening of the fourth landed campus here in September.
Browne stated that the government was prepared to use another brand if support was not forthcoming.
He declared, “They can jump high, they can jump low, we are opening the doors to our university come September this year and if they put any obstacles in our way, then we use another brand; it doesn’t have to be UWI.”
However, Browne’s desire to be aligned with UWI was, according to him, based on his belief in regional integration.
“I don’t understand this issue within the OECS [Organization of Eastern Caribbean States] and CARICOM in which we are supposed to be working together as one family, but as soon as another country try to make a step forward they come with all kind of isms and schisms,” he said.