The press report did not list minister of Agriculture David Estwick as among the officials present when the announcement was made this week by Professor Eudene Barriteau.
Professor Eudene Barriteau, Principal of the UWI, Cave Hill campus committed the Cave Hill campus to developing 30 acres of land that was donated to the university by the Edghills of Dukes plantation in St. Thomas a couple years ago. According to the report USD34 million will be spent to develop an agri-business creating 1500 jobs, a break from the trend of planting concrete on arable land in Barbados. Further, the entity will be designed to facilitate training and research for the Caribbean region. One could hear the enthusiasm for the venture by Principal Barriteau as she shared details about what promises to be a transformative project.
The project is to kickoff mid-next year!
She said the project, which is expected to take about two years to complete, would also accelerate the thrust towards greater self-sustainability in food production and food security with a significant portion of the almost 30 acres of land being set aside as agricultural parcels for farming. In addition, the park will accommodate agro-processing and meat-curing facilities, a chocolate manufacturing and training facility, cotton processing facilities, a food standards laboratory, a sewerage plant treatment and recreational spaces…
The project is being funded by the Government of Barbados through its bilateral aid programme with the People’s Republic of China.
This is good news indeed to observe the premier learning institution in Barbados leading the charge to resuscitate the agriculture sector. The economic pundits have all slammed the door of Barbados pursuing agriculture because of high production costs. We will monitor the debate with interest.
Education is one of the many tools a country uses for progress. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that it is the only tool and it must come in a defined format, which must never be changed. Education like any other national tool must undergo redefining and utilized strategically or it falls by the wayside like any other endeavour that is left to its own devices.
A recent photo of a top university administrator, bedecked in shoes and hand bag made from the black belly sheep skin, is perhaps the most exciting news coming from within the walls of UWI for some time. We recall about four decades ago, our craftsmen were taking the skin from cows and making belts. Almost everybody had a “cow skin belt”. If my memory serves well, I think we had some car seat covers locally made as well. They eventually disappeared because at that time they were seen more as oddities than foreign exchange earners. Nobody thought a tannery would have been a good investment. Nearly three decades ago, we were also told that the same black belly sheep produces a top class meat (mutton) that will be a world beater. Then we heard that somebody in Texas had literally hijacked the black belly sheep by some legal manoeuvre.
On this occasion, the folks at UWI enlisted the services of a tannery in Italy. The Black Belly Sheep Leather Project has local business mogul, Sir Charles Williams, as one the projects top supporters. In all fairness to Sir Charles, he has always promoted the economic benefits of the black belly sheep.
We hope that this project gets off the ground and employment is found and a means of production to produce and market more than the pair of shoes for display on the front page of our papers. We have produced hundreds of university graduates in all disciplines and yet to this very day our country is poorly marketed. We have little or no competitive agro based industries. And we have allowed all our nutritious fruits to fall to the ground as we are more attracted to packaged fruit , grapes and apples from “over way”. The fact that this project will embrace other Caribbean islands where the black belly sheep is found adds to its potential.
This project indicates that the Centre for Food Security and Entrepreneurship of the University of the West Indies is finding its way. It clearly demonstrates that any progressive place of learning should see its role beyond what is mainly found in text books and academic arm chairing.
Enrollment at UWI, Cave Hill affected by government’s policy to exact tuition cost from students.
“Not a single one!
That was the reaction of a senior official at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in response to SUNDAY SUN questions whether any students had turned up with proof of having received one of the thousands of bursaries promised by Government eight weeks ago.
On July 12, while speaking at an official ground-breaking ceremony at the campus, Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, disclosed: “Young people have been saying you need to do more to help us over the threshold now that we’ve made the adjustment in tuition fees and we are committed to that. In the first few years, we will do some 3000 bursaries to help those with challenges and this has already been agreed to.
“We can say with the greatest of accuracy that not one person who has registered has brought any document or payment showing they have received a bursary from the Ministry of Education, and as far as I am aware the university has received no correspondence from the ministry indicating that any bursaries have been awarded,” the official said on condition that he not be identified.
“On August 29 Minister Jones revealed that 1695 people had applied for bursaries to cover tuition fees and officials of his ministry were processing them, after which he would take the matter to Cabinet for “sign off”. Well placed sources in the ministry told the SUNDAY SUN they were unaware of any paper being taken to Cabinet on Thursday, the last time Cabinet sat. Repeated attempts to reach Jones for a comment were unsuccessful.”
…Class of 1969 (Professor Henry Fraser’s Class) 50% went to the US to do their internship and most of them never returned…
The University of the West Indies (UWI) was established in 1948. Currently, it has full campuses in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados. The Mona Medical Faculty started in 1948 with 33 students. To date, the UWI has produced over 7,000 medical graduates. In 2008, the Cave Hill Campus took the bold step to establish a full faculty of medical sciences.
The UWI took over from Codrington College, which was the only institution that offered higher education at the degree level by 1953. Degrees in the Classics, Humanities and Theology were offered. All of this was done in affiliation with Durham University. However, it should be noted that the primary intent of the Codrington Will was to ensure that the College would have offered medical degrees. It is not clear why that was not done.
Therefore, any Caribbean national seeking medical education had to journey to Canada, the UK and the US. By September 1946, with an affiliation with the University of London, a medical school was set up in Mona, Jamaica. Over 600 students applied for entry, but only 33 were accepted after enduring a “special entrance examination” and interviews.
Investing School (Be Brave and Don’t Follow Fashion)
One of the most enduring realities in investing is the fact that most small investors seem to end up buying stocks at the top of the market and selling at the bottom. One of the major reasons for this is the fact that investors seem to let their emotions dominate when making investment choices. Two emotions in particular seem to dominate when making investment decisions:: fear and following the crowd.
First, let’s talk about following the crowd, what West Indians call “follow fashion.” The adverse effect following fashion has on investment results is rather straightforward. When a person sees others do well in an asset class or stock, he or she decides to jump on the bandwagon and buy some too. What tends to happen is that by the time “follow fashion” people invest in the stock, the stock’s price has ran up so much that it has become overvalued. Of course, the bubble eventually breaks and people that bought at the top lose a lot of money. “Follow Fashion” people end up buying at the top of a bubble.
Theoretically economic laws tell us that if we connect all the world knowledge pools and promote greater trade and integration the global pie will become larger and more complex. Implicit is the trickle down effect which will increase the living standards of the masses. Also implicit is the greater and more specialize the knowledge the greater will be the amount and value of jobs coming on stream. Hence the nation able to significantly increase it s knowledge force will enjoy a larger share of the pie. Among other things the theory assumes rationality of behaviour which is simply not the case. The global playing field may be flat but certainly not level. Countries differ in terms of the amount of land space, natural resources, people, markets and power. For this reason especially post secondary education should be structured to facilitate strategic development as is the case in China and other countries.
Not long ago the goal, an extension of no child left behind and unique only to Barbados was said to be a university graduate in every household by 2020.
The Pro Vice Chancellor told the Cabinet he envisioned 12000 students in the next 4 years of which 20% will be masters and doctoral grads (Advocate 2/22/2011). Now Tertiary education is said to be “critical to the strategic development of the country.” The Cave Hill Campus and the expansion should be seen as a growth area. Having a township to accommodate 15,000 will make a “profound contribution to the country’s development” (Advocate 05/07/2012).
BU has led the call for academics on the ‘Hill’ to speak out on the many issues which are at play in our society. The challenge it seems is that many of them can be tarred by a political brush if we are to judge by their public offerings. What purpose is learning if it cannot be shared dispassionately to enrich the human space we occupy?
Recently Dr. Brian Francis, a lecturer at Cave Hill, UWI, generated a furious debate triggered by a post-Budget discussion, when he ‘knocked’ the recent budget delivered by Minister of Finance Sinckler. Again BU was forced to ask – was Francis providing analysis as an economist or a partisan leaning academic?
I have listened and watched the debate about access to university education with some interest over the past few weeks, especially after the announcements in the budget speech of November 22, 2010. I have a Bachelors and Masters degree for Cave Hill, fully funded by the tax payer and my degrees have provided me with many opportunities in life and I would like others to reap the same benefits.
According to my research, UWI Cave Hill has three main categories of students on entry to the university. Normal matriculation students who can be full time from the start of their degree and therefore can complete their degrees in three years or over six consecutive semesters. Lower level matriculation students who are required to be part-time for the first two years of their degree and therefore can complete their degrees in at least four years or over eight consecutive semesters. Advanced standing students (so called two plus two degrees) who are exempted from the majority of the first year of the degree (on the basis of CAPE, Associate Degrees or other qualifications), and therefore can complete their degree in four or five consecutive semesters.
The key elements of the higher education policy outlined in the budget seem to be that the government wants students to enter the university as preferably Advanced Standing students or if not, Normal Matriculation students, and for all students to complete their degrees in certain time limits. To inform myself on the issues I went up to campus and got my hands on a brochure, “Financial Information for Undergraduate and Graduate students 2008-2009” outlining the fee structure at UWI, Cave Hill. The following table summarizes the fee structure outlined in the brochure: