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UWI MoBay campus sees 50% jump in student enrolment

Published:Tuesday | August 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Luz Longsworth

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer


The University of the West Indies, Mona, Western Jamaica Campus (WJC), is reporting a record 50 per cent growth in new enrolments for the academic year 2014-2015 since its inception in 2008.

"This year, we have more than 300 students who have accepted places," campus director Dr Luz Longsworth told the new crop of students, during a welcome ceremony at their Queen's Drive Campus, in Montego Bay, Sunday.

However, only about 30 per cent of the students are male, continuing a trend not only at the western tertiary education institution, but at others in the region.

More Int'l students

Longsworth told the history-making group that there was also an increased number of regional and international students representing Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, St Kitts-Nevis, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Turks & Caicos Islands, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Students have come from as far as the United Kingdom and Nigeria, and as close as the Dominican Republic. These numbers are expected to increase considerably by the end of September, owing to the fact Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examination results were only recently released.

"We have attracted more than 18 new international students to a campus that can boast that more than 75 per cent of its graduates graduated with honours in the last two years. A campus where 70 per cent of the graduates were employed within two months of their final exam," she boasted.

Longsworth's comments were bolstered by chief executive officer of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, who, while delivering the keynote address, reminded the undergraduates that it was their generation that would define Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean.

He urged the new students to find balance, which was critically important, particularly over the next three years. "Study hard, learn and teach yourselves how to manage stress. Have the discipline of waking up every day and getting into your routine. Try to find that thing that resonates with what you are good at."

Stewart, who currently serves as a member of the WJC Ambassadorial Corps, based the nucleus of his speech on 'Life is an Attitude', calling on the newcomers to focus on how education can improve their lives. "What you take from your time at this institution is going to determine what you become in life," he told the new students.

The WJC is adding a number of new programmes in mathematics, actuarial sciences, entrepreneurship, international relations, operations management, and others.