The UWI partners for research and social impact


The UWI partners for research and social impact

Monday, March 09, 2020

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THE leadership of The University of the West Indies (UWI) says the 71-year-old institution is pushing to become more responsive, by making its research increasingly available to the public and private sectors.

Speaking at the institution's annual campus council meeting at Mona on Friday, pro vice chancellor and Principal Professor Dale Webber said The UWI needs to know the questions that the industry wants answered in order to align its research to the issues.

He was presenting the university's annual report for 2018/19 to the council under the theme 'Maximising resources for a sustainable future'.

Professor Webber said pure and applied research must both be understood and appreciated by the university and its partners.

He added that, while there are immediate outcomes of some research that can serve commerce or policy, others raise the profile of the university on the global landscape, signalling its capacity for stridency and innovation.

The pro vice chancellor stressed that research is the mainstay of The UWIs existence as it caters to the varied needs of society and is the essence of the institution.

He said that The UWI recognises the importance of the integrity of its research and that the benefits of stimulating and generating research at all levels and with strategic partnerships are crucial for a university.

Professor Webber noted that a foundation pillar of The UWI's strategic plan is alignment, which calls for synergy with the public and private sectors. He said the university must take a leading role in initiating these partnerships and being an advocate for impactful social change.

“As a research-driven university, a primary goal of the academy is to confront the many challenges facing the region and find solutions through scientific research. Such solutions are better realised through partnerships which bring both intellectual and financial resources that complement our scholars and students' expertise,” Webber reasoned.

He pointed to collaborations undertaken during the review year, which demonstrate the intellectual capital of the university and that it is fully poised to play a leading role in a wide range of disciplinary development initiatives.

This includes collaborations with other universities, in order to broaden its visibility, through a number of formalised agreements between its departments and other institutions in China, the United States, and Costa Rica.

Webber's report to the council also noted an agreement between the Jamaican Government and the Government of Mexico which resulted in the establishment of a Mexico Chair at the university.

The UWI Mona says it is maximising its current resources by building on the model of many successful universities and economies that are founded on shared research and development partnerships.

Under this thrust, partnerships were formalised with the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Jamaica National Bank, the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, and the National Environment and Planning Agency.

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