KINGSTON, Jamaica, January 23, 2008 – The prime minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, is calling on the leadership, faculty and students of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to be more proactive and provide the intellectual leadership the region needs to survive in a new and emerging global environment. He said the university should be guided by the question of its relevance in the new global environment and to the development needs of the region
The Prime Minister was speaking on Sunday (Jan 20), at the official launch of the 60th Anniversary Celebrations of the Mona Campus.
Mr. Golding said although the institution does not have the longevity as other universities such as Oxford in the United Kingdom and Stanford in the USA, it had spanned the years of significant change in the lives of the people of the Caribbean. He said the University has survived many trials and battles including the break up of the West Indies Federation and has made an immense contribution to regional development.
He said the Mona campus was particularly unique, as it had enabled Jamaican students to break down their sense of insularity from the rest of the region and establish a special bond through a common alma mater. Mr. Golding urged the current leadership and student body to build on the solid foundation laid by the pioneers of 1948, in order to secure a brighter future for the people of the Caribbean.
Mr. Golding is one of twelve distinguished UWI graduates to serve the region as a Head of Government. The university was established in 1948 with 33 medical students. In excess of 40,000 students have since passed through the institution. The campus has increased from one to three, the others established at St. Augustine in 1960 and Cave Hill in 1963. An Open Campus was created in 2007 and a Western Campus in Jamaica is scheduled for opening in August 2008.
Other speakers at the function included Dr. Marshall Hall, Chairman of the University Council, who outlined plans for the creation of an endowment fund to which graduates will be asked to contribute. (JIS)