The University of the West Indies (UWI) Fourth Landed Campus in Antigua and Barbuda has accumulated a substantial amount of negative feedback since the idea was made known to the public.
Notwithstanding this, the government said it is scheduled to receive final approval at the end of this month and all systems are in place or are being finalized for studies to commence in September.
“The decision is just about to be inked. I think that [with] the next visit with the Minister of Education and the Attorney General, that will happen,” Information Minister Melford Nicholas said at the post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday.
Nicholas said the Information Technology infrastructure was one of the very few things that needed to be
addressed ahead of the opening.
“When the vice chancellor visited us about a month ago, he did indicate that the technical committee had completed their review. They produced a gap analysis that had approximately five areas, five gaps that were identified that had to be closed. And each of us have these work sheets working on,” he explained.
Nicholas further bragged about the government’s capacity to open the facility as a University.
In his own words, “We can go the next level. We have financial muscle to be able to do it. We have a commitment from a credible competent university. They have told us what the gap is and we are prepared to go to work and to deal with it.”
Meantime, Public Relations Officer of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Cortwright Marshall said that the Five Islands facility is not fully ready to house the fourth landed campus of UWI because it lacks the basic pre-requisites.
One such requirement which Marshall elaborated on is the physical facility.
“It is suggested that what is required is physical facilities and these physical facilities include: four classrooms with the capacity to hold at least 40 students per course, and we know that the classrooms at the Five Islands campus are very small and these classrooms should be equipped with white boards, projectors, microphones etc., ” Marshall said.
He also said the campus Library should have seating for at least 30 persons and should be complete with at least 10 reference textbooks per course – all of which he claims the campus is not readily equipped with.