Open Campus leaders meet in Belize
The U.W.I. is the region’s leading tertiary institution – it has four campuses – Mona, Cavehill, St Augustine and the Open Campus. The Open Campus is the newest of the four and is available in seventeen Caribbean jurisdictions. It has been rapidly growing and aims to meet the needs of students through its unique offerings – just last year it saw an eighteen percent increase in enrolment. Today the top brass of the U.W.I. and U.W.I. Open Campus convened in Belize for the Open Campus annual council. News Five’s Andrea Polanco attended today’s program.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
Today, The UWI Open Campus hosted the annual business meeting of Council in Belize City. The UWI’s leadership including Vice Chancellor Sir Alleyne and the newly installed Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus Dr Luz Longsworth, including other senior management and appointed members of the Campus Council from across the Caribbean met to present the 2016-2016 annual report – a report that seeks to present all activities related to the financial, administrative, and academic undertakings and achievements across all seventeen sites of the Open Campus .
Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice Chancellor & Principal
“I shared with them the major developments in the Open Campus over the last year, which included a rapid increase in the numbers of programmes that we have offered; in fact we have offered 17 new online programmes; we have developed 41 new professional and educational online programmes. We have seen rapid increase in enrolment and an overall increase of 18 percent in increase of student enrolment in the Open Campus online programmes over the last year and also the work that we are doing in the Open Campus to improve our ability to develop and deliver on an even larger scale as the University moves towards a lot of its excellent content online so that the people in the region and beyond will be able to access the wider programming where ever you are – online or on site.”
The UWI Open Campus has seen tremendous growth over the past year, but the hope is to expand the work so as to make education more accessible for all. The Open Campus is well positioned to meet the growing and changing needs of the Caribbean region – including Belize.
Professor Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor, U.W.I.
“We have a large community of professional persons with families already working who are in need of retooling; retraining, professional expansion to a large extent some degree of certification also. Then there is the impact of the recession where people are changing the direction of their career orientations and companies are now looking to survive and to survive they are now looking to retrain and retool their workers and their management. So, there are so many different segments that we are catering for and this why the Open Campus is so agile in each of the jurisdictions where it operates. It has programmes for each of these different communities, so it is perfectly organic and aligned to the specific needs in every country. UWI is part of Belize. Belize is part of UWI. And we have to expand access to tertiary education in this country and we believe we are well positioned to do so. The Minister spoke last night that the UWI will work closely with the national university of Belize. We will work together. We have to build capacity. We have to reduce cost. We have to make it easier for everyone and so we are hoping that between the UWI, which is at home, and national institutions, we can create the capacity for a revolution in higher education so desperately needed here in Belize.”
Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.