Following the induction of Dr. Luz Longsworth as Pro Vice- Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies UWI Open Campus on Thursday night, senior members of the UWI gathered today in Belize for the presentation of the university’s performance over the last year across the seventeen sites of the Open campus, Belize included. Just before midday senior members of the council met with the press where Dr. Longsworth elaborated on the University’s undertakings and progress as it continues to provide innovative learning opportunities for students in the region.
Dr. Longsworth further explained that under the University’s flexible programming, over 6,000 persons within the region enrolled online. These mostly include men and women over thirty and single mothers. The university’s reach is continuously shifting with the changing generations and is also now handling new programs in demand, branching off from the long established programs says Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.
The Council members added that the seventeen sites are aligned to the specific needs of its respective communities in each country. Dr. Longsworth says that by the beginning of the next academic year, the University will also be able to provide improved stable internet access for these communities. Furthermore, as the University continues to adapt to a changing world in academics, the University has a consortium for social development and research which is mandated to do community based research. This body addresses issues affecting community development and helps improves the environment that can lead persons to higher education.
With only 13 percent of the population in Belize enrolled in higher education, the UWI’s aim is to increase that number here and the region on a whole. Dr. Longswroth pointed out in her speech on Thursday night that quote, “This is a seminal moment where our commitment as a Campus and as a University, our full intellectual resources, our hearts and our minds must come to the fore in forging a new day for our region, infusing hope and vibrancy back into our societies across the region,” end quote.