The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, is exploring opportunities for collaboration with tertiary institutions in the United States, particularly Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), to facilitate short-term study abroad.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Mona campus, Professor Dale Webber, made the disclosure during the recent ‘Let’s Connect’ town hall hosted by Ambassador to Washington, Her Excellency Audrey Marks.
Professor Webber pointed out that these collaborations could see undergraduates engaging in study for a semester or up to a year under the student exchange programmes.
“We’re looking for every opportunity to increase the number of our students going from UWI to universities [in the US and vice versa],” he said.
“We think the exposure is great for our students. They will learn a lot more about what happens outside of Jamaica, and American students will learn about what happens in a predominantly black country, where we are in full control of all that happens,” he pointed out.
Executive Vice President of Howard University, Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy, said the institution intends to strengthen its existing collaboration with UWI.
“We’ve had a relationship with the UWI, Mona… and it’s been robust, especially in terms of students coming from Jamaica to study at our university. It’s a no-brainer for us to be able to continue our partnership,” she said.
The UWI, Mona and Howard University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2017, which outlines the provisions that allow students from both universities to study various programmes available at either campus.
Ambassador Marks, in her remarks, noted that the exchange programmes are crucial to the “experience of education”.
“It’s not just about getting a degree. It’s about having an entire experience so that persons can get exposure. That is why we (Embassy) are pushing most of the scholarships on the exchange programme,” she said.
The town hall’s discussion focused on educational opportunities, including student exchanges and international student scholarships.