The true potential of a society will not be realised without a solid foundation based on education, says this island???s Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

He made the comments last evening while delivering the feature address at the closing ceremony to mark the end of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus??? 50th Anniversary Celebrations at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination.

Mr. Stuart said homes had been enlightened and households strengthened as a result of the expanded opportunities the Cave Hill Campus had offered.

???The public services of this region are now better resourced than at any other time in the region???s history, thanks to the University of the West Indies; and to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, the Cave Hill Campus has contributed immeasurably in that regard. Many an individual, old and young, has been able to actualise a God-given potential through access to this campus and has set out on the path to a vertebrate life,??? he asserted.

The Prime Minister described the institution as one which could stand head and shoulders above many in the world of universities, despite the many challenges that it had faced. ???Its icons through the years now dot our landscape and have continued to serve the Caribbean and the world with distinction,??? he stressed.

According to him, the expansion of Cave Hill???s programmes to include a number of areas such as law, medicine and management had solidified the reputation of the institution.

He added that the modernisation of Cave Hill???s physical facilities and its increasing emphasis on a wide range of graduate offerings and research had done much to internationalise its image and reputation.

Mr. Stuart expressed the view that a university in the West Indies had to reflect the legitimate aspirations of a post-slavery and post-colonial people, and not mimic the priorities of universities which were responding to a different set of historical and developmental imperatives.

???I concede that the task of the university can be made that much easier if governments are clearer about what kind of societies they want to create. But the task of crafting a regional vision is not one from which the university can afford to divorce itself. While not hostaging itself to governments of whatever stripe, the university must see itself as a partner in the process of development of the wider community which it is supposed to serve,??? he underscored.

During the night, the UWI Cooperative Credit Union donated $20,000 to renovate the Paradise Park Project and $70,000 for the purchase of equipment for the Faculty of Science and Technology.

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