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By Latrishka Thomas

The top matriculant of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Five Islands Campus told OBSERVER media that she fully endorses the fourth landed campus and is therefore encouraging individuals from the twin island nation to make full use of the opportunity to study there.

Kayah Ward was speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural Matriculation and Welcome Ceremony for new students last Friday evening.

“When deciding on a university, prices, tuition [are] probably what you are going to look at so let me begin by saying it is very economical. You don’t have to pay for plane tickets and housing and all of that because you’re already here, so that is one factor,” she said.

In addition, the 18-year-old student, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with Management, said that for local students having family and friends nearby provides the comfort needed if the academic pressure rises.

Ward also shared aspects of her journey to becoming the top matriculant with OBSERVER media.

“In my own experience starting here [UWI Five Islands campus], when I first attended classes it was really a bit of a shock for me. Yes, I attended the Antigua State College and I was introduced to some of the teaching styles, but still coming to university I realise more that I am going to have to do my part.

“I am really appreciative of the fact that I was able to learn that lesson here in the comfort of my friends and my family … imagine if I was overseas … I believe that the support system that I would have already established at home is another motivating factor and I would encourage anybody else to come here,” she stated.

Ward obtained a 4.02 GPA at the Antigua State College, a factor which contributed to her being selected as top matriculant.

And as top matriculant, the Sea View Farm resident was on hand to symbolically sign the register during the ceremony.

She said that none of that would have been possible without the help of others in her support system.

“With the help of my friends, my family and all my teachers, whether directly or indirectly, they have put me where I am today and I have to give thanks for them. That has been what led me to become the top matriculant and I am really proud of that,” she said.

She also revealed that after her studies she would like to continue in her endeavours to be a humanitarian by embarking on a political career.

“I would like to intern at the Ministry of Legal Affairs…my goal is to become a Senator reason being, I am very passionate about helping others and I believe this is the best way that I can do that,” she revealed.

The UWI Five Islands Campus officially opened its doors on September 3rd and has plans to double its student complement by next semester.

Approximately 147 students took part in the event, which was attended by several officials of the UWI, including Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Interim Campus Principal, Professor Stafford Griffith.

The ceremony was chaired by newly appointed Director of Administration and Finance, Daniella Hickling.

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