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UWI campuses told to cut costs by 10% in two years

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has mandated all campuses to cut costs by 10% and increase revenue by the same margin in a bid to save US$30 million over the next two years.

The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill (Photo: UWI)

The news follows a two-day retreat by the institution’s executive management which assessed performance The UWI for a strategic five-year plan which ends in 2022.

The team determined that progress was made in research recognition, global impact and leadership, access to teaching and learning and public accountability, but that more focus should be given to the UWI’s financial health, according to a release circulated Tuesday.

Increasing monies owed to the university by contributing countries has contributed to its financial woes, worsened write-offs which have contributed to significant loss, the release said.

The University of the West Indies, Mona (Photo: UWI)

“To remedy this situation, Prime Ministers at the Caricom Heads of Government Meeting in Haiti last year agreed to assist with an assets-for-cash swap, a welcomed response that motivated the University to accelerate its comprehensive austerity programme.”

The latest strategy, approved by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, further specified “All UWI entities have been tasked with consolidating academic programmes, adopting a robust out-sourcing methodology that targets non-core expenditures, and diving deeper into the digital culture in search of cost reductions and savings.”

In addition, Beckles said each campus should increase its revenue by 10% over the same period to support its goals of cost savings and earnings.

New targets were also set for the team which include:

  1. Intensification of cross-campus planning to drive digital transformation;
  2. Implementation of the University as a multi-lingual academy;
  3. Consolidation of The UWI’s reputation as the global leader in climate action and advocacy;
  4. Fast track strategies to develop the entrepreneurial culture across The UWI system and to cultivate “UWI Corporate” as an effective brand;
  5. Establishment The UWI Global Online platform to offer programmes and courses internationally.

The UWI has four campuses, Cave Hill, Barbados; Mona, Jamaica; St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago; and the recently opened Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda.