A lecturer at the UWI’s Department of Undergraduates Studies at Antigua State College (ASC) has declared that she will be resigning after this semester, due to the lack of preparation and planning by government officials for the fourth landed UWI campus in Antigua.
Despite the enthusiasm expressed by government officials about the establishment of the Five Islands campus, Giselle Isaac – who has been employed with UWI for 17 years – does not harbor the same sentiment.
“After this semester I am not going back because the slide alarms me and I do not want to be a part of something that is going to be left bland and that is how I feel about any potential fourth campus here in Antigua and Barbuda, at this time, under these circumstances,” Isaac said.
“We are months away from September and we know nothing about this university. People plan their lives especially when it comes to the huge outlay of finance that you would have to sort when you are going after tertiary level education. We are nowhere ready to open any school, any college, any university in September, and I would be gravely disappointed in UWI if it diluted its brand just to politically accommodate any government.”
Isaac, while speaking on OBSERVER AM on Friday morning, further shared her concerns over logistics associated with the opening of the tertiary institution at the Five Islands location which currently houses the ASC’s Business, Engineering and Teacher Training departments.
“If we were to have a fourth landed campus of Antigua and Barbuda … as things are now, the facilities that we have now and with the behind-back attitude that we have going towards this thing, I would be very disappointed in UWI.
“If I were contemplating going to UWI as a student, I would have second and third thoughts about it. It is a devaluation of the UWI brand. To stick a university inside the four walls of a secondary school, the infrastructure that we don’t have, is a devaluation.”
She further denounced Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin’s claim concerning the infrastructure of the campus, which he alleged began at a simpler facility in Barbados. However, according to Isaac, the timeline and improvement of the technological age cannot be compared to then.
“This is 2019; expectations are totally different for Antiguans and Barbudans, and OECS people are travelling people. They know what universities are supposed to look like, the amenities they are supposed to offer; I would not send my child,” Isaac added.
She concluded by imploring UWI officials and the general public to insist that the standard of the regional educational institution is upheld.
“We know what the standard of the university is and we ought to insist on these standards and adhere to these standards so that the children’s education actually means something when they go abroad with their degrees and they say it’s from … Cave Hill, Mona, St. Augustine.”