D-Day looms for UWI campus in Antigua and Barbuda

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By the end of this month, Antigua and Barbuda will know whether or not the governments of the three campus countries of the University of the West Indies (UWI) have favourably considered the proposal to establish the fourth landed campus at Five Islands.

In a release to the media yesterday, UWI said the governments of those countries — namely Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago — were given time to condider the proposal during its annual business meeting of the University Council on April 26th at the St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad & Tobago.

“Their submissions will be heard at the next meeting of the University Finance and General Purposes

Committee, scheduled for May 30, 2019 at Cave Hill, Barbados,” the communique said.

The recommendation to establish the additional campus was presented during the meeting’s closed session where “a diverse range of matters” were discussed.

“The Council also considered the recommendation from the University Finance & General Purposes Committee on the Report of the Technical Taskforce — presented by Co-Chairs, Pro Vice-Chancellors Alan Cobley and Densil Williams — on the proposal to establish a fourth landed campus of The UWI in Antigua & Barbuda,” the release said.

Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin and Minister of Education Michael Browne led a delegation to the April 26th meeting where they presented Antigua and Barbuda’s case for housing the campus, which would be the first UWI institution within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) sub-region.

Benjamin subsequently communicated his belief that the fact that the three campus governments had been given time to consider the proposal was “a matter of formality”.

However, Prime Minister Gaston Browne accused some Caribbean countries of harbouring “petty jealousies” for opposing the establishment of the fourth UWI campus in Antigua and Barbuda and stated that the government was prepared to join forces with another university if the proposal were denied.

“They can jump high, they can jump low, we are opening the doors to our university come September and if they put any obstacles in our way, then we use another brand; it doesn’t have to be UWI,” he said.

Browne said his desire to be aligned with UWI is based on reigional integration.

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