Sunday 27 September, 2020

UWI needs US$75 million annually to survive

The University of the West Indies needs an annual injection of US$75 million if it is to survive.

That is the advice from the ATTAIN group, a company hired to assess the financial health of the University.

“They are saying that we are going to be in significant financial difficulty unless we get an annual injection of US$75 million dollars and that is where rubber meets the road,” said Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles at his 2015-2016 annual report to the University Council at Cave Hill, Barbados.

Beckles said the regional governments owe the University is $105 million which is having a structural impact on the University.

He said the bursars have been talking to the Governments but at a meeting of the University Grants Committee (UGC), none of them made any commitments to the budgets.

“UGC has agreed that there needs to be a new funding model for the University and they have asked us to put together a task force not to look at the model approved by this Council but to look at other instruments,” he said.

Such instruments, he said, would include recommendations to other Governments to ease their cash flows while the University has access to the revenue owed to it.

He said in the meantime The UWI is putting its house in order and is looking at entrepreneurial activity. A task force has been set up for that purpose.

“On average our Governments are contributing less than 50 percent to the overall operations of this University. Where is that 50 percent coming from? It is coming from the University’s own entrepreneurial activity, self-funded,” he said.

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