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UWI approaches China as gov't subvention dries up

Published:Sunday | May 3, 2015 | 12:10 PM
The Mona campus of the University of the West Indies.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has approached China to assist in financing a gap in its budget as government subvention to the regional tertiary institution continues to decline.

In an exclusive interview with The Gleaner, new vice chancellor, Professor Hilary Beckles, said the UWI is engaged in preliminary discussions to access funds from the China-led Asia International Bank and the New Development Bank, formerly the BRICS Bank, established by emerging powers Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa. The New Development Bank, which was set up by the countries as an alternate to the World Bank, is focused on financing infrastructural projects.

However, Beckles says regional governments have a responsibility to maintain their contribution to the UWI.

Government subvention to the UWI has reduced from 60 per cent of the university's total financing since 2001, to just below 50 per cent.

Beckles succeeded Professor Nigel Harris who demitted office last week.