University of The West Indies Extension Services
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
April 16, 2009 (SKNIS)
Locals interested in pursuing advanced studies are encouraged to take another look at the University of the West Indies (UWI), which offers full degrees that residents can access without having to relocate.
“It has become more cost effective for a person to attend UWI from our open campus,” Virginia Browne, told SKNIS in a recent interview, which looked at the 60 year history of the educational institution and the evolution of services in the Federation. “They will be getting a top quality education ““ that is accepted and recognized any where in the world ““ at minimal cost.”
Ms. Browne noted that the tuition fee for a typical three credit course at UWI is $650.00 compared to a similar course at a United States college which can cost more than $800.00 per credit.
Ms. Browne is the librarian at the open campus and was supported by fellow faculty members Grace Laplace, Senior Administrative Assistant and Cicely Jacobs, Programme Officer.
“When you study at a U.S. or U.K. institution, and you comeback to work in the Caribbean “¦ there is a conversion of the knowledge [and its application] that needs to take place so “¦ why not go to a Caribbean institution,” Ms. Laplace asked.
Currently there are approximately 200 students in St. Kitts and Nevis taking advantage of the expanded service which is a result of the strengthening relationship between the local Government and the university. Some are pursuing full degree programmes while others are starting out with an Associates Degree. Others are engaged in shorter courses including a savings and investments programme which is offered with assistance from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.
The staff at the open campus is willing to work with individuals or groups by designing modules for programmes not offered by the school and can be run at the institution. Once completed, successful participants will earn full UWI accreditation.
“Being able to stay at home and complete courses and [earn] full degrees “¦ allows individuals to remain an active part of the family structure, so we don’t have that [break] from a social perspective,” Ms. Browne stated, noting that UWI has embraced existing technology in ensuring distance learners receive the same quality education as on campus student.
Ms. Jacobs recommended that locals should pursue an undergraduate degree in the Caribbean and then “go abroad” to earn postgraduate honours, keeping research work confined to the region.
“Go to many university hospitals in the United States and many of the doctors are UWI graduates who are highly thought of and recognized because of the quality education they received,” she said, while encouraging residents to attend the school.
“Students often say they don’t want to come to UWI because it’s too hard. That is not the truth. You get out of something what you put into it and when you.” Invest your future with UWI and “you will reap many, many rewards,” Ms. Jacobs concluded.
Additional information about UWI and its programmes can be accessed at www.open.uwi.edu.