Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says the relationship between his Government and the University of the West Indies (UWI) is in good shape.
Mr. Stuart gave this assurance recently when the new Principal of UWI Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau, paid him a courtesy call at Ilaro Court.
He expressed regret that some issues which arose between Government and UWI over the past few months were played out in the media, and they both agreed that this was not the way to conduct business.
Stressing that his Cabinet was committed to the success of the University, he said: ???I want to assure you that Government is very much on board with the work of the UWI, and wherever possible, we will facilitate the University???s work to make your task as easy as possible and assist it in achieving the highest standards in Barbados and the Caribbean.???
Acknowledging that Barbados has been going through serious economic challenges, the Prime Minister expressed confidence, however, that the country would overcome the trials.?????I never mistake a moment in time for eternity. We are much more than we are going through. I see this as a test of our resilience and strength of our character and we need to see beyond the current circumstances,??? he stated.
While extending congratulations to Professor Barriteau on her ???richly deserved elevation???, Mr. Stuart described her as ???a hard worker with fertile intelligence and therefore well equipped to discharge her responsibility???.??Professor Barriteau promised to do her best, saying that she saw the job as an excellent opportunity to provide service.
???I have the capacity to use my intelligence and my skills to advance the human resource needs of the country and the region, and I want to do that. I want to work with Government???, the regional governments??? and the private sector, but most of all I want to work on behalf of the young people of Barbados. When I think of it in that sense??? I see what may appear as stumbling blocks as just as stepping stones on the way to the larger good,??? she stated.
She admitted that the University was facing a difficult time, but stressed that she was solution-oriented, and felt excited about the new possibilities. She also expressed optimism that the situation would improve.??The Principal said she would be engaging in a series of consultations during the month in an effort to determine from staff and students what their issues were and how they could be solved.
???We have an excellent plant and equipment and I want to talk to them about not being bogged down in what they see as the temporary challenges. Cave Hill is larger than that; it is like Barbados, we are larger than what we are going through now and we have to remind ourselves of that,??? she remarked.
Prime Minister Stuart agreed, adding that it was important to see and exploit the opportunities which could yield many results. Professor Barriteau identified some of her priorities as increasing student enrolment, including getting those who put their education on pause to return to the tertiary institution; attracting international students; and impressing upon the students the need to see the region as their employment market.