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University of Miami, UWI partner for hemisphere consortium

Friday, November 15, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica —The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Miami (UM) have teamed up as partners within in a Hemispheric University Consortium (HUC).

The second meeting of the consortium was held at UWI's regional headquarters in Jamaica, in October and co-chaired by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and President of the UM, Dr Julio Frenk, UWI said in a release.

According to the UWI, a year ago, Dr Frenk reached out to Professor Beckles — among other University presidents — with a visionary idea for the consortium and since then “the two have been working steadfastly to bring the project to maturity”. Details of the Consortium's governance were ironed out and agreed to in a memorandum of understanding.

Noting that the HUC comprises 14 universities across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States, UWI said that partnerships such as this consortium are imperative to tackle some of the hemisphere's most pressing problems, such as public health, climate change, sustainability and resilience issues.

Vice-Chancellor Beckles described UWI as a prime example of inter-governmental collaboration and reiterated the institution's commitment to the HUC.

“The University of the West Indies is deeply committed to this consortium. We are passionately committed to it because we believe it is a very relevant strategy and effective tool to enable universities across this hemisphere to collaborate in partnership in the search for solutions that will be of a regional and hemispheric nature. This project to which we are committed is one of the many institutions we believe shows very effectively our commitment of higher education to finding sustainable solutions to the problems facing our people across this hemisphere and to recognise that many of these challenges cannot be met on a singular basis, cannot be met on a national basis, but can only be met on a hemispheric and regional basis,” Beckles said.

Meanwhile, Frenk termed the consortium, formally established in 2018, as “a unique mechanism for collaboration across the hemisphere based upon the principles of equality, free exchange, mutual responsibility and mutual accountability for the activities of the consortium.”

He noted that, “the consortium has already proven to be a very active platform for connecting institutions with a like-minded focus on creating knowledge and stimulating exchange around that knowledge on some of the most important consequential problems faced by our region and by the entire planet”.


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