The history and heritage of the University of the West Indies (UWI) are important in part because of the undeniable role that the university has played in the development of the nations of the Caribbean and the region as a whole.
Some elements of that role were affirmed at the 2016 Global Giving Week event held August 7 at the Mona Campus and in the UWI Regional HQ.
The Patron of the Global Giving Week, UWI graduate and former Prime Minister of Jamaica Most Hon. P J Patterson, noted: “Looking back, I don’t think anyone can dare dispute that this university through its graduates and its publications has played a critical role in paving the way for the sovereign nations we have now become.”
He added that the university has provided the nations of the Caribbean with political leaders, public administrators, judges, scientists and professionals in every field.
His comments were underscored by newly appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Affairs Ambassador Richard Bernal, who spoke of the UWI’s contribution to the economy and society of countries of the region, including the provision of leaders in politics, business, academia and beyond. He noted that the economic contribution made by the university’s campuses through jobs, foreign exchange inputs, taxes and linkages to other sectors, was often underestimated.
UWI had led the decolonisation struggle and had been involved in integration and development processes, he added.