The Five Islands Campus of UWI was officially launched in Antigua this week.
ANTIGUA--The Five Islands Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) was officially launched this week with hundreds of attendees including some of the leading educators in the region.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the historic moment paves the way for the continued enrichment of the Caribbean people.
“It will expand their knowledge, enhance the capacity, stand with the best and the brightest in the world, knowing they are equal,” Browne said.
But leading up to the momentous occasion, the decision to convert the Five Islands Institution into a university was met with quite a bit of turbulence and at the formal opening, Minister for Education Michael Browne did not fall shy in describing just how much was endured to achieve the significant milestone.
“I remember we came down to crunch time and coming down to crunch time, there often times where many of you like me that time, recognized that you need the closure; you needed that final voice. The reality is, it doesn’t matter how polished a diamond looks. In the end, a diamond has to go through struggle,” Browne said.
In Browne’s opening remarks, he explained that the university is the government’s fulfilment of its mandate to build an economic powerhouse.
“The history of the University of the West Indies, the history of the people of Antigua and Barbuda and the Eastern Caribbean and by broader extension the Caribbean, married to the vision of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and government and people of Antigua and Barbuda produces and births a vision. That vision captured in very, very simple words: Our country shall and must be an economic powerhouse,” he said.
UWI Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles was also present for the historic celebration. He said the occasion merely signified a responsibility to the people of the Caribbean.
Beckles also urged that the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda ensure that at least one member of every family goes to the university and gets a university education.