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UWI Today -March 2014
All Things New in the Month of March!
Around the world, since man first started counting months on a calendar, March has signalled a season of awakening, of renewal. For us here in Trinidad & Tobago, we have traditionally welcomed in the Lenten season of self-imposed restraint.
As I write this, I am just back from an exciting though fast-paced visit to China. There I was privileged to be present when China Agricultural University (CAU) welcomed and honoured our Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to their university – one of the most respected in China and our partner institution in Beijing. As you are aware, the Confucius Institute (CI) opened at The UWI St Augustine Campus in October 2013; since then we have made much progress. This critical partnership with CAU is on track to flourish and the St Augustine Campus is looking forward to a visit in April from CAU’s President, Dr Ke BINSHENG and his team of agricultural experts and planners. We expect to do something special with our new 200 acre site in Orange Grove – the creation of an agricultural innovation park. We also had a flying visit to Wuhan University another of China’s old distinguished higher institutions and there we’re collaborating through the Institute of International Relations to establish a Centre for China-Caribbean Studies. This is another first for China and The UWI. You’ll read more about this China mission within these pages.
In this issue, we note the internationalisation agenda of the University being fulfilled in another way. The Caribbean-Pacific Islands Mobility Scheme (CARPIMS), funded by some €6.8million from the European Union under its Intra ACP Mobility Scheme, facilitates the movement of Masters and PhD students and staff among a consortium of Universities from the Caribbean and Pacific regions. Its primary goal is to build the research and teaching capacity of participating institutions and their regions. The UWI has been awarded the largest Caribbean-Pacific grant for the third consecutive year. Two young ladies, who benefitted from this scholarship opportunity in 2013, speak in their own voices about their on-going Samoa experience.
We are bringing the world to our door with the upcoming launch of the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean, a joint project of the Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The University of the West Indies. This Academy will complement the Institute of International Relations in that its mandate would be to develop world class, future thinking diplomats through experiential, modular training and exposure to the best in the field from the region and around the world. The occasion will also mark the opening of our new Conference Centre. Several firsts for The UWI and our country!
‘As good as new’ is the theme of an article by Dr Sybele Williams, lecturer in the Department of Physics where she is researching anthropometry – non-invasive monitoring of musculoskeletal disorders. It’s a fascinating read on a cutting-edge area of research on how Biomechanics helps athletic performance and rehabilitation. A week of Campus Council meetings has just ended, during which the Campus reported to stakeholders on all facets of our work and progress – much of which is addressed here in UWI Today but more on that in our April issue.
These are exciting, new times for the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI. Join us on this journey of ‘great expectations’!
Clement K. Sankat
Pro Vice Chancellor & Principal