PM urges UWI to develop university township
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left), listens to a point from Deputy Principal, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, at the annual Elsa Leo-Rhynie Hall banquet, held on March 23 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston. (Photo: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Prime Minister Andrew Holness, is urging the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, to look at developing its real estate as part of a university township programme that could accommodate business process outsourcing (BPO) operations.

With the projected continued growth in the industry, which also offers knowledge and information technology outsourcing, Holness said the development would create jobs for students, to assist them in meeting tuition and housing costs as well as provide a pool of personnel for the BPO sector.

The Prime Minister, who was addressing the annual banquet of the Elsa Leo-Rhynie Hall, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Thursday, said the Government will be willing to assist in such a venture.

“If we can build the infrastructure to support BPO operations... then what we would have started is the very kernel of a university town. I say, let us work together to develop this concept of a university township. I think it is a viable project and I personally will be dedicating time to it to ensure that it becomes a reality,” the prime minister said.

Holness further encouraged the university to seek to embark on a programme to coordinate student housing in nearby communities. 

“I think more ought to be done to build out around the university and work with those persons who make their homes available, so that it is coordinated, so things like security and safety and living standards can be regulated,” he said.

The prime minister commended UWI for investments made in its infrastructure and for using public-private partnership in the development of housing solutions for students.

He also hailed the university's move to use renewable energy in pursuing a net zero energy goal as well as its use of an independent water source to supply the campus.

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