Our Readers' Opinions
December 10, 2013
I am proud to be a graduate of UWI

Tue Dec 10, 2013

Editor: I am proud to be a alumnus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), since it has produced more than 17 Prime Ministers, seven of whom are currently heads of government – and there are more UWI graduates that are heads of government than any other university in the world.{{more}}

Research revealed that there are 20,000 universities globally, and, according to the Vice Chancellor of the UWI, Professor Nigel Harris, the UWI is at the top five per cent – pointing out “that in one of them we are first in the Caribbean which includes among others, Universities in Puerto Rico , the Dominican Republic and Haiti, countries with populations much larger than the combined total of the West Indies and some with more resources than we do.”

The UWI was set up in 1948, but was known as the University College of the West Indies, and became a full fledged university in 1962 at Mona, Jamaica and campuses at St Augustine, Trinidad and Cave Hill, Barbados were established subsequently. The exact number of graduates is not available, but it is tens of thousands, and there are graduates in arts, science, law, medicine etc. A large number, if not most, are outside the Caribbean, holding top positions with governments, large corporations, recognized universities, and among others.

Most of the graduates during the past decade are females, and perhaps I should mention that the legal fraternity is dominated by West Indian trained attorneys, a large number of them in the judiciary, while several others are in top positions, such as Attorneys General, Solicitors General, and Directors of Public Prosecutions.

Speaking at an inaugural Pelican Awards ceremony of the UWIAA New York Chapter, Vice Chancellor Harris said that the UWI has produced leaders in every sector of the communities in which it exists. He disclosed that if the graduates of the UWI were to go on strike for a single day – then nearly all government cabinets of our contributing countries and government offices would close; banks and other businesses will go silent, because their management at all levels and staff would be unavailable; all institutions of learning – tertiary, secondary and primary would shut down and so would the courts, hospitals and medical practices; even the churches would not operate for the day, because many of their clergy have UWI degrees.

He added that “UWI graduates are the protectors of the patrimony of our people; through our educated graduates we are the essence and soul of what is required for stable, resilient, productive societies.”

Oscar Ramjeet