The University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus will seek wider collaboration in several areas through the Commonwealth Secretariat. This is following a visit to the campus by a team from the Commonwealth Secretariat headed by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland on May 31, 2022.
Baroness Scotland commended The UWI Five Islands Campus in its role expanding access to education and its collaboration in support of a Centre of Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy at The Five Islands Campus. The Secretary-General stated that the new Centre will be a game changer in the data driven world. “There is therefore a huge role for this university to play because we are heavily dependent on empirical data and yet there isn’t sufficient empirical data in this area.” She noted there were several challenges and assured the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat to the campus in areas such as data mining and artificial intelligence to address the issues affecting the Commonwealth, its member states and the world.
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Five Islands Campus, Professor Densil A. Williams commended the Commonwealth team for its visit and for the discussions on collaborating in key areas as the campus develops. The campus, which was established in 2019, is helping to innovate by bringing new technological approaches to its programmes as it prepares graduates for the labour market of the future. Professor Williams also noted that the Commonwealth through its scholarship programme, continues to afford the expansion of knowledge and skills to young Commonwealth nationals and he looks forward to when the Five Islands Campus will have its alumni pursuing postgraduate studies as Commonwealth scholars. He also updated the Secretary-General and the team on the development of the Centre of Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy.
During the discussions between the Five Islands Campus and the Commonwealth Secretariat Team, there were several areas explored including opportunities for partnerships, financing & innovative solutions, leveraging data science and access to the Commonwealth networks. This will help in the expansion of offerings at the campus especially as the campus will launch five new degree programmes in 2022. The Commonwealth Secretariat Team was also given a presentation on the plans for physical expansion and a guided tour of the campus.