UWI to provide more accommodation for students on campus
Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
TERTIARY EDUCATION in Jamaica has received another boost as the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, will soon be able to accommodate more students on its campus following a ground-breaking ceremony for new residences yesterday.
The UWI, Mona, has entered into a public-private partnership with the company, 138 Student Living, to design, build and operate 1,584 units of high-quality student accommodations. The project will see the construction of 11 six-storey buildings, each with 144 rooms.
Principal Professor Archibald McDonald expressed gratitude to all stakeholders participating in the project, including the Jamaica Mortgage Bank and 138 Student Living.
"You are making an invaluable contribution to tertiary education, which is an essential part of the UWI's strategic plan, and the Mona campus' operational plans. Due to this partnership, we now have access to First World accommodation and will be attracting students who find it difficult to fund their education," he said.
"It is critical to be able to accommodate the large number of students who need assistance. Through the construction of these new halls, the university will be increasing the student housing on campus to 3,500 from the 2,500, this year," McDonald continued.
PART OF GROWTH AGENDA
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites noted that what is transpiring at the UWI is part of the Government's growth agenda.
"What is going on here at a time when we don't believe that there is any growth or prospect of hope is a complete turnaround in our mindset. The UWI now stands on the cusp of becoming an active member in foreign exchange because, instead of paying out, they are, in fact, positioning themselves to attract more foreign students to this facility," he added.
"It is the dream of the Government that the UWI will be the Harvard of the Caribbean, even as we expect the UTech (University of Technology) to become the [Caribbean's] Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The best option that any government, institution or community can give to its people is that of a sound education. There is no greater prize," Thwaites continued.
The construction of these residences is slated to finish by July next year.