Professor Harris makes visit to SVG
December 23, 2004
Professor Harris makes visit to SVG

Professor Nigel Harris, the new vice chancellor University of the West Indies (UWI) has embarked on a regional mission, which is expected to make the institution the first provider of quality education in the Caribbean.

During the past week, Professor Harris, who assumed the post of vice chancellor two months ago, has been visiting non-campus territories. He is assessing how the University of the West Indies services the non-campus territories and what areas the governments in the region including St. Vincent and the Grenadines can improve through collaboration with the UWI. {{more}}

Shortly after meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on Thursday, December 16, Professor Harris met with local media practitioners at a press briefing at Cabinet Room.

Dr. Gonsalves, in introducing Professor Harris to the media said the professor is an internationally acclaimed scholar, researcher and author. He stated that during his discussion with Professor Harris they reached a consensus that the UWI had not served the non-campus territories well enough.

The Prime Minister added that, though people from the non-campus territories are attending the UWI in increasing numbers, and that the UWI Centre for Continuing Studies is doing some work here, there is a feeling that enough is not being done. He said the meeting concluded that there is room for improvement to advance tertiary education in the region.

Besides the issue of the UWI improving its service in the non-campus territories, Dr. Gonsalves said other concerns were discussed, such as having more people trained in a wide range of disciplines with the focus on science and technology. He added that the issue of having government and the private sector tap in on skills at the university to do consultancy work, along with identifying areas for research and development were also raised.

The Prime Minister disclosed that the discussion also entailed the role government and UWI can play in enhancing distance education through the World Bank Financed Caribbean Knowledge Learning Network. The programme will facilitate students accessing university programmes much cheaper through distance learning.

“My goal, and I believe that of the university, is to be the first provider of quality education in the Caribbean. The second goal is to be the first provider of research and development support in the region. Our third goal is to be the first call for government with technical expertise with respect to areas of politics, strategy and other implementation of projects,” said Professor Harris.

The Guyana-born professor said his goal is to revolutionize education in the region.