By Zaya Williams
As the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus prepares to kick off its fifth school year in September, it’s evident that this educational institution has experienced remarkable growth since its inception in 2019.
Dr. Curtis Charles, the Director of Academic Affairs, recently spoke on an Observer radio program, shedding light on the university’s impressive journey.
In 2019, the campus embarked on its educational voyage with a modest 174 students. Fast forward to the present day, and that number has not just doubled, but more than quintupled, with nearly 1000 students applying for admission this year.
This surge in enrolment speaks volumes about the growing reputation and appeal of the UWI Five Islands Campus.
However, the growth of the campus isn’t solely measured by numbers; it’s also marked by significant academic achievements. Dr. Charles proudly announced that this year, the campus will be witnessing the graduation of its first nursing cohort. These dedicated students have invested four years of relentless effort into their studies, and now they are on the brink of reaping the rewards of their hard work.
Dr. Charles expressed his excitement about this milestone, saying, “We are especially excited to see these students because nursing is a brutal program, and they barely have space to breathe. So, we are anxious to see them succeed in the program.”
Another groundbreaking development at the UWI Five Islands Campus this year is the launch of the Master of Teaching Students with Exceptional Needs program, set to commence next week. This innovative master’s program is designed to equip aspiring educators and current teachers with the specialized skills needed to address the unique educational requirements of children with special needs.
This initiative marks a significant milestone as the UWI Five Islands Campus becomes the first of the four landed campuses to offer such a program.
Dr. Charles emphasized the program’s importance in contributing to the overall development of the region, stating, “We can’t move as a region into the 4th industrial revolution if we don’t prepare the students who are in front of us in elementary and high school. We want to make sure that we train all teachers to be able to handle all of those students.”
In an ever-evolving educational landscape, the UWI Five Islands Campus is carving a distinct path by not only expanding its enrollment but also by offering specialized programs that address the specific needs of the region.