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UWI to Seek Funding From China

Published:Friday | May 8, 2015 | 1:18 PM

As its subventions from the various regional governments continue to decline, the University of the West Indies (UWI) has set its sights on China as a possible source of funding.

Speaking with The Gleaner, newly appointed Vice Chancellor of the UWI, Sir Hilary Beckles, indicated that he has begun discussions to secure funding from the China-led Asia Infrastructure Development Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank (NDB) formed by the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).

"We are monitoring China's foreign policy in respect to its Caribbean and Latin America and hemispheric interest very closely. I just returned from China, where I participated in those conversations," Beckles said.

IMF alternatives

The AIIB and NDB are developing country alternatives to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

The move by the university to seek funding from these newly established institutions forms part of a drive to globalise and turn around the finances and operations of the university.

"We have to aggressively globalise the university because there is great concern about the diminishing capacity of our region to fund a first-rate university."

The vice chancellor highlighted the fact that the university has to improve its operations to cut costs, and as such, he has appointed a turnaround team to drive the process.

"The university bursar is in the process of establishing a consultancy initiative called the 'UWI Turnaround', and that process has started. We have identified an international firm that specialises in assisting universities to do this kind of turnaround so that we can be satisfied that there is maximum efficiency in the use of our resources and that the management function is lean and effective," Beckles said.