LETTER: Upset at UWI Mona Graduation Treatment of My Daughter


Dear Editor, Good afternoon.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, UWI opted to have the 2021 graduation virtually and that is understandable. My daughter is graduating from a faculty that is not represented at all landed campuses.

However, leading up to the graduation, my daughter’s faculty realized that because she’s in a different country (Antigua) she would need to get the graduation hood in order to take her graduation photo as her faculty isn’t in our country.

Between my daughter, the Open campus and her faculty in Jamaica, they tried their very best to organize getting the hood to her. Upon writing several emails and phone calls, Mona would not respond to either email or phone call.

There was a deadline for the picture taking and my child only received her hood on Wednesday Oct 6th and she was informed that she would have needed to get a picture taken by Friday Oct 8th.

Prior to this, the photographer that was in charge of taking photos for the UWI graduates informed my daughter that after a particular date he will no longer be taking graduation photos.

And so upon arrival, the Open Campus provided us with an option to go to a photo studio to have the picture taken. It was a rush as we had to cancel hair and makeup appointments prior to this.

Gladly, we were accommodated by the MUA and stylist and she took her picture and it was sent off to UWI and confirmed through the faculty that the picture was received.

Now for graduation day when my family and I sat around in anticipation waiting for my daughter to be presented, UWI had the nerve to present my child as a tree and their UWI sign.

I find this to be very disrespectful and as a parent I am fuming. After 3 years of hard work and dedication, after almost three years of my child being away from me in a different country with numerous sacrifices, they present my child as a tree and a sign.

Her package was paid in full, my child had no outstanding balances so much so that UWI had to send my daughter money that they owed her. ($200,000jmd)

This is one of the worst experiences a parent can have. I am calling on UWI Mona to get their act together because I will not rest until this is rectified. They need an answer as to why my child’s photo was not shown.

Angry Parents

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  1. Have your daughter sent a copy of this letter with her grievance to the Chancellor? Although this letter is heartfelt and raises concern for an inept operation, the department and the university owes your daughter an apology. The pandemic caused many departments to be short staff and rushing to meet deadlines could have contributed to the oversight. Your daughter will have the past laugh when the begin reaching out to alumni for donations.

  2. I am a proud graduate of the class of 2021.

    I first enrolled at the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus) in 2012. In 2015, I was required to withdraw due to poor academic performance. I re-enrolled in 2018, determined to acquire my degree and this year I finally accomplished my goal.

    Before the graduation registration deadline, I attempted to register through the online portal but received an error that there were no students with my credentials listed as graduating and I would have to contact the university.

    Three weeks later, after jumping through hoops trying to figure out the right person/department to speak with, I finally received confirmation from the deputy dean of my faculty that I would be awarded the degree. After receiving this confirmation, I attempted to go online once more to register for graduation but this time received an error stating the registration deadline had passed and I would have to contact the Examinations Section for assistance. I sent an email to the examinations section as well as the graduation email which was listed online, I have yet to receive a response from either.

    After a few days with no response I decided to go up to the school to find out how I could be registered for graduation and take photos. When I went to the Examinations Section and explained my situation, the young lady at the desk callously informed me that once the deadline had passed there was nothing they could. I tried to explain once more that I had been trying to register since before the deadline and that I had only just received confirmation a few days before. She said it was simply out of the question. I asked if there would be a section in the program next year for students who were unable to be presented with their graduating class. Her response, “No, if it miss you it juss miss you.”

    The graduation ceremony was yesterday, November 4th 2021. After almost a decade, I finally accomplished the goal of acquiring my degree and will never be able to attend a ceremony or see my name presented. Needless to say, I am completely disgusted.

    The University of the West Indies is one of the worst institutions I have had the displeasure of interacting with and I am glad to finally be rid of this place.

    • I always heard UWI was one of the best schools.

      Seems like there are heartless people everywhere who don’t want to help others

  3. What an experience you all had. I really wish I could individually assist each of you. For the graduate that had to encounter that cold and callous staff at UWI let me apologise for her cold behavior, I really wish you had ask to have a brief conversation with the Registrar in charge of that section, he has a great heart for students. For the parent if the graduate from Antigua I understand your disappointment and that of your daughter. However the photography should not have been sent to the faculty as you mentioned. Not blaming the graduates neither am I blaming the system but measures were out in place to mitigate alot of what was mentioned in the letter and responses. I am not speaking as the voice of UWI, neither am I responsible for graduation but I do understand and is aware of what needs to happen.

    Again sorry to hear about your experiences and I’m sure the UWI will “fix” what went wrong, as they are still on the learning curve.

  4. It is unfortunate that these graduates had these experiences especially the young lady from Antigua. I know some of the people who work on the campus are a bit callous and mean spirited to say the least but empathy is not a requirement for employment but thet do not represent the whole. I met some very kind, caring and sincere people while i was there. That being said the most important thing is that you were awarded your degree and that is the end goal of all the sacrifices made. Go forward and make your mark.

  5. As a past graduate of UWI..I find this to be disappointing…prrshaps a newspaper publishing of hhese graduates in the tricampus countries…along with the award of the degree may bring some amount of satisfaction….along with an apology ofcourse

  6. Well goes to show how under-educated ppl are working in top jobs they are not qualified for. So- called higher learning and knowledge tends to give one an inflated view of self but like an air filled balloon is worth nothing because what makes a person worthwhile is no so much what is in his head but what is in the heart.

  7. Neither my name nor my photo was presented at the uwi online graduation ceremony. And I got an email asking me for my information so I can be apart of some stupid rebroadcast.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, uwi is the worst institution I have ever attended and I’m glad to go. I hate them, they don’t care about students and they operate very shabby.

  8. Send back your daughter’s degree and ask for a refund for the three (3) years. If your daughter can’t be in a graduation picture then what is the sense. It is like you never really graduated.

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