Halls of residence tipped for UWI Five Islands Campus

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The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Five Islands Campus is set to benefit from a $10 million investment to develop a halls of residence.

Interim head of campus, Professor Stafford Griffith, previously told Cabinet that building dormitory rooms on campus was a priority to attract OECS students.

At the time there was an informal agreement to build an initial 100 rooms. Local homeowners were also being encouraged to begin preparing to extend homes to draw in more overseas students.

Minister of Information Melford Nicholas said yesterday, however, that the new plan is to build a housing facility with no less than 200 rooms.

“But I think for the investment we are thinking that perhaps maybe a minimum 200 rooms in the dorms would be a sufficient area to start,” Nicholas said.

He said government anticipated a large student intake as the years progress.

Government hopes the dorms will be ready to welcome OECS students by September, as “it is anticipated that funding will be forthcoming from a friendly state”. But it acknowledged this may take longer to come to fruition.

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  1. You are planning dormitory facilities to accommodate hundreds of students from other Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) territories. Why do you think students in OECS territories will have a preference for coming to Antigua and Barbuda rather than, say, continuing to go to Cave Hill (Barbados), St. Augustine (Trinidad) or Mona (Jamaica)? Will they continue to have a choice? How many university places will be reserved for Antiguan and Barbudan students, being the host country?
    At Cave Hill, St. Augustine and Mona the vast majority of students are from the host country. And students from the host country don’t normally use dormitories nor pay for housing, they live at home. And host country students don’t pay Economic Costs. So,when you make such a huge investment in dormitories, and encourage local home owners to expand their homes for student intake, are you not encouraging huge risks? You are not likely to get more more OECS students than the combined total that would have gone to Cave Hill, St.Augustine and Mona each year.
    And, which country will pay back the Ten Million United States Dollars (US $10,000,000) to be gotten from a friendly country? Why don’t you use a part of that money and build at least one lecture theater and a library, and build less dormitories at the outset? I think you should only build a one hundred (100) student dormitory facility for now.
    Infact, I think the university should be planning to teach some of its courses in other OECS territories as well. The State College facilities on those territories can be utilized.
    I wish the Campus Management and other stakeholders all the best.


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