July 31, 2012:
Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor E. Nigel Harris and the Honourable Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister of Grenada have signed documents formalizing the grant of just over 88 acres of land to The UWI.
In his statement at the signing ceremony on Friday 20th July, 2012, Prime Minister Thomas defined the initiative for an increased UWI presence in Grenada as a “significant investment in the future of the people of Grenada,” and one which makes education accessible to “all of our citizens.”
Vice Chancellor Harris in his expression of gratitude to the Grenadian Government underscored UWI’s commitment to expand its outreach, bringing the University to students “who could not easily come to us,” and the role of the Open Campus (OC), UWI’s newest and furthest reaching campus, as the one under which facilities planned for the new site will be managed.
It is envisioned that the new facilities in Hope, St. Andrews (in the north-eastern section of the island) will be a robust place of learning which will change the tertiary education landscape and serve Grenada well. The specific plans for the development of the Grenada site are being discussed by the Office of the Vice Chancellor in collaboration with the Senior Management of the Open Campus, led by Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus, Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald and Head of the Grenada OC site, Dr. Curtis Jacobs. Preliminary proposals include a multi-purpose site encompassing teaching and learning facilities, conference and event facilities, as well as an agricultural research station.
Commenting on the gift, Dr. Jacobs said, “This land grant is the culmination of more than six years of negotiations over the life of the previous and present Governments of Grenada. It is in keeping with the recommendations of the 2005 UWI Chancellor’s Report on Governance to have a ‘university campus presence’ in each of the UWI-12 countries and marks the beginning of a new era in the relationship between The UWI and the Government of Grenada in particular, and the UWI-12 countries in general.”
Even as it continues to invest in the expansion of its presence across the Caribbean islands, The UWI emphasizes its continuing interest in pursuing more formal links and partnerships with community colleges and national universities in the English speaking Caribbean in the interest of widening access to higher education and better serving the region.
This significant endowment to The UWI adds to recent gifts of land by other Caribbean governments such as the Governments of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica. Clearing and construction is expected to begin in the next few months.
Courtesy the University of the West Indies