The University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters on Mona Road in St Andrew, Jamaica. (Photo: The UWI)

UWI targets US$60-million bond in T&T market

The University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters on Mona Road in St Andrew, Jamaica. (Photo: The UWI)

During an almost two-hour-long State of the University address on UWI-TV this week, The University of the West Indies Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles indicated that the school will be going to the capital markets to raise US$60 million by bond.

The aim, he said, was to reach self-sufficiency, thereby releasing the institution from dependency on regional governments.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles (second left), vice chancellor, The University of the West Indies (UWI), and President of University of Miami Dr Julio Frenk (second right) show off the signed memorandum of understanding at a bilateral meeting of the two universities at The UWI Regional Headquarters in Jamaica on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. Sharing the moment are Dr Maria de Lourdes Dieck-Assad (left), vice-president for hemispheric and global affairs, and Ambassador Gillian Bristol (right), director, The UWI’s Latin American-Caribbean Centre.

The UWI, with campuses spread across the Caribbean, has been facing financial problems due to late payments from member governments and the impact of the spread of COVID-19 on its finances.

Beckles said that the aim of the tertiary institution, which is 73 years old, is to become self-sufficient by the next decade.

In the near future, The UWI will float a US$60-million bond via the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange, he stated.

The University of the West Indies will float the US$60-million bond on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange. (File photo)

Expanding for the future

The school will use the proceeds of the funds mainly for the construction of a new state-of-the-art offshore medical school in that country, a development which Beckles said could increase school revenues by 35 per cent.

Additionally, the intention is to expand The UWI’s Open Campus to increase enrolment from 8,000 students to 80,000 — another measure that promises millions in new fee inflows.

The aim, he stated, was to increase enrolment across the Caribbean since the region has the hemisphere’s lowest enrolment rates.