Rebranding from Open to Global: Remaining Faithful to our Regional Countries, Towns, Villages and Hamlets


The UWI Open Campus as an Online Campus has been rebranded into The UWI Global Campus. “Strewn across the Region and dispersed globally to increase our impact,it was this agile Campus which demonstrated that learning could continue when other institutions and other organisations were shutting down. The Global Campus looks forward to fulfilling the vision of the Vice-Chancellor to be the major pillar in the Revenue Revolution phase of The UWI Triple A strategy through aggressive, entrepreneurial activities that take our excellent programme offerings online to wider regional and global markets,” said Honourable Ambassador Dr June Soomer, Chair, The UWI Global Campus Council, in her opening remarks to the Global Campus Council Meeting on Friday, March 22, 2024.

She spoke about the rebranding process and asked for continued patience as the Campus navigates the changes. She further indicated that the Campus was grateful for the understanding and patience during these challenging times. “We are committed to ensuring that citizens in non-independent countries will know that we will help them to build capacity in special entrepreneurship and employability skills training programmeswhich target beneficiaries of social protection programmes, especially women. Our citizens in Belize who tackled mental health in the workplace will know that we want better working conditions. Our citizens in Saint Lucia and Dominica, who would be happy to include continuing and professional educational process, will know that we understand that the development of countries will depend on the type of education they receive. These are also our aspirations for students that we will attract globally. The UWI will consolidate its reputation for excellence. We will be at the heart of shaping global citizens. As we move into the last 25 years of the first century of The UWI, the Global Campus is well-placed to assist the University in achieving the goals of one graduate for each household so that we can spur the development of the generational wealth that has been in the Region. We look forward to sustained advancement,”Ambassador Soomer stated.

Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles in his remarks stated, “The 75th year gave us a tremendous opportunity not only for reflection upon the achievements of our University but also an opportunity to make projections as we look toward the centenary 25 years from now. It has been a rich engagement and many lessons have been learnt, and we are now actively making preparation for the future. I can reliably state that after 75 years, the reputation of this University has never been greater. I can also state that the global visibility of our University has never been greater.”

The Vice-Chancellor indicated that despite encountering internal challenges, the University’s achievements have been commendable. “We are in a very good competitive position relating to the system of higher education. The 75th year has found us right where we wanted to be. Our goal has always been to rank among the top 5% of the best universities in the world, and from year to year we might also be in the top 1.5, or top 2 or 3, but that is where we will always be, that is our plan. This is where we are, the #1 University in the Caribbean in a field of over 150. The top 1% in Latin America and the Caribbean,among 2,000 universities, and in the world in a field of 32,000 universities, we are in the top 3%,” explained Vice-Chancellor Beckles.

He indicated that this brings a tremendous sense of greater responsibility for the future and that it was imperative to begin charting a course towards the centenary of the University. He mentioned that in the past two years, there were significant challenges due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and that in some respects, the Pandemic posed an existential threat to the University. He stated that Several institutions in our hemisphere and beyond found it necessary to close their doors. They could not see how they could deliver on their culture of teaching and learning and research within that context… We did not make those very adverse decisions. We decided to stay focused. We embraced our students and took them through this process. We did the best possible and we were commended for it. However, we could not have achieved that circumstance without the specific and focused mobilisation of the Global Campus.”

He spoke about the International School for Development Justice (ISDJ) which will be located within the Global Campus and indicated that it will be a business school focused on teaching and learning at the graduate level, specifically around the Sustainable Development Goals. He explained that this is a unique opportunity that will see the Global Campus in a very positive position in the years ahead. “As we prepare to become actively involved globally in the world of higher education, we must remind ourselves that it is a multi-billion dollarmarket and we at The UWI will be a part of it, securing our share of the revenue associated with the rapidly expanding global economic systems. We are now about to complete the rebranding exercise from Open to Global so that the concept of the Global Campus rolls off our lips in a way that the Open Campus did in past decades. This is what we are hoping for so that we can all embrace the concept and the vision. We are now in the business of revenue-generating in light ofthe financial and physical context of the Region and we will make progress,” stated Sir Hilary.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Francis O Severin in presenting his Annual Report to the University Council for the 2022/2023 Academic Year, spoke of the new Global brand. “We are a hybrid and blended Campus since we are virtual with 42 physical site locations serving 17 English-speaking Caribbean countries and authentically a Pan-Caribbean Campus. We make a fundamental and unequivocal claim to this”. He explained that the subtheme for his presentation, which speaks to Remaining Faithful to our Regional Countries, Towns, Villages, and Hamlets is befitting of the Campus’ commitment to community outreach.

“At the Global Campus, we believe in the power of education to transform lives and communities. As we embark on this exciting journey, it is important for us to remain devoted and committed to our Regional countries, towns, villages, and hamlets as we want our community outreach to remain robust, consistent, and strong. It is important for us to spread our wings globally, but we will not forsake or renege on our domestic Caribbean responsibilities and obligations,urged Dr Severin.

He further stated that during 2022/2023, the Campus has maintained a vibrant and robust community outreach to its local clientele while continuing to assess the unique needs and characteristics of each sub-region within the Caribbean community. “We appreciate and understand that education should be accessible to everyone regardless of their geographical location. Our goal has therefore been to sustain and bolster our ties with our Regional countries. We have done this while having as our focus the provision of quality education and support to all.

The Principal reported that the Reaccreditation Midcycle Review was held on November 13 and 14, 2023. He noted that it was an opportunity for the Campus to reflect on its development and achievements since the granting of full accreditation for 7 years in 2019. “The process included looking at any matters identified in the reaccreditation report that required action and to look ahead at the development plan for the remainder of the accreditation period. It was also an opportunity for the Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC) to keep abreast of developments in the Campus and to check on continued compliance with the accreditation standards,” explained Dr Severin.

Concerning the Rightsizing Human Resource Consultancy, Principal Severin explained that the process was launched on January 29, 2024, and is on track for completion on May 31, 2024. He paid tribute to the Caribbean Development Bank and thanked them for funding 83% of the cost of the Consultancy and indicated that 17% represents a contributioninkind from the Campus.

In closing his presentation, Dr Severin informed the meeting that the Campus has proposed a project titled Circular Community for Health, Wellness and Sports in Grenada. “This is a fundamental Global Campus Revenue Revolution initiative thatwill benefit not only Grenada but the Eastern Caribbean as well. This project dovetails with our emphasis on sustainable development, justice, climate justice, and the circular economy,”stated Dr Severin.

Principal Severin wrapped up the Annual Report by thanking our contributing and supporting governments, the Vice-Chancellor and the University’s Executive Management Committee, and all our stakeholders, friends and well-wishers. He expressed gratitude to the Campus Council Chair, Honourable Ambassador Dr June Soomer for her continued support and keeping in very close touch with him and his team. He advocated that, as a resilient team and Campus, that “…we shall continue to renew our strength; we shall mount up with wings like eagles; we shall run and not be weary; we shall walk and not faint.”

The meeting also received several departmental reports from members of the Global Campus Senior Management Team as well as the Audited Financial Statements, the Audit Committee Report, the Guild of Students Statement, and the Open Campus Alumni Report.

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  1. These people are so unaware that it never occurred to them that the rebranding they need is one from the colonial name of University of The West Indies ….
    We are no longer West Indians we are Caribbean people living in the Caribbean.
    Why are you holding on to a slave trade and colonial name?
    Are you who call yourselves academics so unaware?

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