The new Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus has outlined his vision for the fourth landed tertiary institution.
He wants to implement a shared service model to manage administrative and teaching costs so that the university doesn’t become a burden to the government.
Additionally, he wants to focus on the self-financing aspects of the campus to ensure sustainability.
“Mona, now I see it is the future of all the campuses; we want to get there intentionally rather than in crisis mode. At Mona, the Jamaican government’s contribution accounts for about 40 percent of their budget; they make the other 60 percent, which I think is the future for everybody,” Professor Justin Robinson said during a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister’s office.
He said that the focus will be on generating revenue from the onset.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne recently expressed his belief that UWIFIC is a valuable asset and that the government is dedicated to investing extensively in its future growth.
He revealed that the next step involves securing an $80 million loan from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to expand the campus and establish it as one of the top institutions in the region.
“I think you have come at a good time when you will be able to preside over a lot of growth and development of the campus. In terms of the government, we are not going to be there only in terms of advocacy, but in terms of financial support, we are committed. We are so committed that if we find ourselves in a situation where we have to increase taxes to fund the campus, we will do it.” PM Browne said.
In August, former Principal Densil Williams resigned, and Professor Robinson took over as the new leader.
Robinson, who is from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is an alumnus of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, where he earned a BSc in Management Studies with First Class Honors.
He also holds an MSc in Finance and Econometrics from Florida International University and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Manchester, UK.
Robinson has published over 50 refereed publications in various regional and international journals as a Professor of Corporate Finance.
During his more than 20 years at the UWI, Professor Robinson has held various positions such as Head of the Department of Management Studies at the Cave Hill Campus, Executive Director of the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business & Management, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Board for Undergraduate Studies.
He was also part of the team establishing the Five Islands Campus in 2018.
Additionally, Professor Robinson has implemented the Policy to support the Multi-Campus Teaching & Learning Initiative, overseeing a two-year pilot program from 2022 to 2024.
This initiative facilitates the sharinsharing esources across the five UWI campuses to expose students to the full range of UWI expertise. It allows for economies of scale in the deployment of teaching resources.
Furthermore, Professor Robinson is supervising the execution of The UWI Foreign Language Policy, which mandates students who join The UWI from the academic year 2022/2023 to exhibit proficiency in a language other than English before completing their studies.
Besides his academic pursuits, Professor Robinson devotes his time to public service. He holds the position of Director at the Central Bank of Barbados, is a member of the Fiscal Responsibility Mechanism in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and serves as a Director at Jamaica Money Market Brokers International and West India Biscuit Company.