Saturday 24 August, 2019

Antiguan PM says fourth UWI campus facing opposition

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said despite challenges, a new university campus will be opened on his island in September.

Speaking on his radio show on Pointe FM 99.1 on Saturday, the outspoken PM said he has faced some challenges in establishing what is meant to be the fourth University of the West Indies campus at Five Islands Village.

He said the technical advisory committee of the University already approved plans for the landed campus but they are facing opposition.

“We have some politics taking root now with some of the campus countries expressing concerns, they have all kinds of fears, they have all kinds of innuendoes and subterfuge they are now bringing to the fore,” he said.

“They can jump high, they can jump low, we are opening the doors to our University come September this year and if they put any obstacles in our way, then we use another brand, it doesn’t have to be UWI,” he said, noting that he wanted to be aligned with the UWI because they are integrationist at heart.

There are three UWI campuses in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados.

Browne said the Five Islands campus will be adequately funded by a tax, unlike other campuses.

“I don’t understand this issue within the OECS and Caricom in which we are supposed to be working together as one family but as soon as another country try to make a step forward they come with all kind of isms and schisms,” he said.

He said they have already made a determination to have a low-cost university and they do not want the heavy bureaucratic infrastructure of the other UWI campuses.

“If they can’t give us what we want, then we go to another school,” he said.

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