Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, Addresses at the Inaugural Graduation Ceremony of the Five Islands Campus of the University of the West Indies.
For the first time, PM stated that since the University College of the West Indies was created in Jamaica in 1948, and a campus exists on Antigua to serve, especially the Leeward and Windward Islands.
In passing this keynote lecture at the Five Islands Campus, I perform a role, carried out at the very first Presentation of Graduates on Tuesday, January 13th, 1953 at the then University College of the West Indies at its Mona Campus in Jamaica, by Sir Raymond Priestly, the then Chancellor of Birmingham University and a member of the Council of UWI.
He described the graduates as ‘the first of a few.’ Among graduates are Emmy Award and Man Booker Prize winners, a Nobel Prize Laureate, entrepreneurs and Chief Executive Officers, academics, specialist doctors around the world, and leaders of many Caribbean nations crosswise all sectors of our West Indian community.
Expenses of the University
The cost of producing a University and a University education, for which many thousands thirst and essential to our countries’ development, has progressed exponentially over the last seven decades.
Finding the money now to provide it in a world paralyzed and abused by the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult and challenging.
The World Bank predicts that, because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 30% of the world’s developing and developing countries have lost at least ten years of income gains per resident.
Antigua and Barbuda’s government belief:
My Government believes in this extraordinary fate for our people and expressed a vision to transform Antigua & Barbuda into an economic powerhouse in the Caribbean.
It was an expenditure in the upliftment of our people and our nation. There can be no cause nobler, no pursuit more fulfilling, no fulfillment more joyful. This Inaugural Graduation Ceremony, though small, attests to the worthiness and experience of our investment.
It is a petite step in numbers but a significant leap in performance. These six graduates are “the first of the many” who will go on to educate scores of others in the decades to come, adding to the wealth of knowledge and potential within our country.
Another significant thing about the 1953 ceremony was that of the 11 bachelors, and seven were Jamaican, two Barbadian, and two Guyanese. The only representation of the Leeward and Windward Islands was among the officials, not among the graduates.
They included St Lucian Garnet Gordon, representing the Windward Islands, and Antiguan S.T. Christian, representing the Leewards. However, while no Antiguan and Barbudan National was between the first graduates in 1953, three Antigua and Barbuda inhabitants were between the first company of students. They were very much a part of the student body of the University.
They were from the Faculty of Medical Sciences – the first faculty to be established at the University College in 1948. He believes that the Government is committed to the upliftment and empowerment of women in our society, which we want to be gender-equal in all sectors.
The success of the woman has been appreciated:
Consequently, we cheer our women’s success in embracing educational opportunities – a prominent trend throughout the campuses of UWI. Notably, today’s females are exceeding males, but our males’ underachievement is becoming frequently problematic.
The end is an issue that currently seizes the Cabinet’s consideration, as we seek to devise approaches to enhance the matriculation and convocation of more males with a university degree.