New scholarship provides an opportunity at UWI
Last Friday, the Minister of Education, Diallo Rabain, made a monumental statement in Parliament.
“Mr Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to rise and give notice of the renewal of the relationship between the Bermudian people and The University of West Indies. Starting immediately, the Ministry of Education will provide scholarship opportunities for Bermudian students to attend The University of West Indies.
“The Ministry of Education is serious about seeing the relationship between Bermuda and The University of West Indies grow. As a result, the Ministry of Education is dedicating $35,000 from our current scholarship budget to assist students in attending one of the three University of West Indies campuses. This funding will cover 80 per cent of the educational expenses of students with the student paying the remaining 20 per cent.
“Applications are being accepted from now up until July 26 for the 2019 fall term with additional information on the application process to be found on the Ministry of Education website.”
One may rightly ask why is this so monumental? There are a myriad of reasons why this is of great significance to Bermudians. The University of the West Indies has a 70-year history of excellence in producing qualified Caribbean professionals in all fields ranging from education to law and medicine. The majority of both former and present political leaders in the Caribbean are graduates of UWI.
For those who question the global reputation of this institution, a recent report by Times Higher Education has verified the standards met and/or exceeded by UWI.
“The 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings has ranked The University of the West Indies among the world's top institutions ... Newly released rankings show that UWI is now placed among the 1,258 top universities in the world for 2019 ... This puts UWI in the elite band of the top 5 per cent of universities worldwide, based on data showing that there are over 25,000 recognised universities globally.”
“For the past 70 years, The University of the West Indies has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world ... In 2018, UWI celebrated its evolution from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher-education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St Augustine in Trinidad & Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, and an Open Campus serving 17 Caribbean island nations.”
Here are some of the courses taught at The University of the West Indies
• Computer Science
• Clinical, preclinical and health
• Medicine and Dentistry
• Business and economics
• Accounting and Finance
• Economics and Econometrics
• Business and Management
• Social sciences
• Politics and International Studies (including Development Studies)
• Communication and Media Studies
• Veterinary Science
• Biological Sciences
• Sport Science
• Physics and Astronomy
• Geology, Environmental, Earth and Marine Sciences
• Mathematics and Statistics
• Art, Performing Arts and Design
• History, Philosophy and Theology
• Languages, Literature and Linguistics
• Engineering and Technology
As you can see, the range is extremely wide. Many of the graduates of UWI have been instrumental in moving the Caribbean region away from neglected agricultural colonies and into prosperous developing nations with diversified economies.
As Bermuda continues to develop and diversify, we can learn much from those in the Caribbean by having our children live and study at any one of the three campuses. One of the key mandates of this government is to find ways to help those who are in financial need. So, for those students who wish to pursue any of the aforementioned disciplines, but may not have all the financing required, this new scholarship provides a much needed assist by providing the lion's share of funding.
While it may be a bit late in the game for normal university registration timelines, UWI has extended the registration process for Bermudian students until July 26.
Over the next few months and years, there will be a greater emphasis on The University of the West Indies, with UWI showcasing what it has to offer to Bermudian students. Those who have an interest in attending in the future should visit the following website, www.uwi.edu
The efforts of Minister of Education Diallo Rabain, the Ministry of Education and UWI Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles are truly starting to bear fruit.
• Christopher Famous is a government backbencher and the MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org