Friday 26 April, 2019

Update: UWI says no agreement yet in £200M reparation deal

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Update November 26, 2018:

The University of the West Indies (UWI) said there is as yet no confirmation on a proposed £200M reparation deal with the University of Glasgow. 

In a statement issued Tuesday, UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles said the headline of the story, initially reported in the Jamaica Gleaner, was incorrect as a team assigned to the project is yet to complete its deliberations. 

"The headline of the story originally published in the Jamaica Gleaner Newspaper dated November 25, 2018, and subsequently carried by other regional media outlets, addressing the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow’s admission that £200 million in fees, endowment and grants were received from Caribbean slave-owners, and attributing reference to an “agreement” with the Vice-Chancellor of The UWI to repay the said sum was inaccurate."

"While the quoted content of the story is correct, the headline that suggests an agreement to pay £200 million to The UWI is not." 

"The universities are working through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) built upon the principle of “reparatory justice”, but there is no “agreement” about the repayment of £200 million to The UWI."

"In good faith the two universities, ever since the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, indicated that his university seeks to be excellent and ethical, have had excellent conversations about how the University of Glasgow can contribute to cleaning up the colonial legacies of slavery that are holding back the region."

"A working team has been established, which has made many reparatory justice submissions, but is yet to complete its deliberations," Sir Beckles said. 

 

Original story:

Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Sir Hilary Beckles has reported that the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom (UK) has agreed to pay £200 million (approximately J$34 billion) of value in reparation payments to The UWI.

According to Beckles, who recently returned from the UK, the funds were paid following the abolition of slavery.

"The University of Glasgow has recognised that Jamaican slave owners had adopted the University of Glasgow as their university of choice and that £200 million of value was extracted from Jamaica and the Caribbean," he said. 

Beckles made the announcement during an interview on the Jamaica News Network (JNN) programme Insight, where he said that the Vice Chancellor of the UK-based university Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli opened up their records, which showed a 'massive influx' of grants and endowments from Jamaica.

He said that the University of Glasgow and The UWI are currently drafting a memorandum of understanding, and the term 'reparatory justice' is expected to be included.

Beckles said the £200 million would be a combination of cash and kind. "We are not on the street corners asking for handouts. We are looking for partnerships and development."

One of the projects in which the University of Glasgow has reportedly shown interest involves research in chronic diseases in the Caribbean, including hypertension, diabetes, and childhood obesity.

"They are looking at the possibility of partnering with us and having a massive institute for chronic disease research that is going to prevent the proliferation of these diseases in the future," said Beckles.

 

£200m from slave trade

A report dubbed Slavery, Abolition and the University of Glasgow, published recently by the university, reveals that it benefited directly from the slave trade in Africa and the Caribbean in the 18th and 19th centuries to the tune of almost £200 million in today's money.

The university has announced that it has launched a wide-ranging and ambitious "reparative justice programme" that is based on the findings of more than two years of research.

In addition, the University of Glasgow had also announced that it intends to implement programmes and projects that will provide scholarships and exchange programmes for Jamaican and other Caribbean students through its links with The UWI.

The full interview with Beckles will be aired on JNN on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

 

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