Plugging the cash hole

Unveiling the path to progress: From left: Chairman Paul Altman, Deputy Principal Eudine Barriteau, Minister Ronald Jones and Principal Sir Hilary Beckles.

The University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill campus is about to negotiate a major private sector financial investment to help plug a massive cash flow hole.

Preferring not to disclose the amount at this time, Principal Sir Hilary Beckles told the institution’s 50th anniversary celebrations press conference at the campus this morning, that he was in the process of negotiating a significant contribution from the private sector as part of the celebrations.

“We have a cash flow difficulty and that is a serious matter,” lamented the campus head, who is currently in discussions with the Barbados Government on how it can settle the almost $200 million owed to the UWI.

The Government is committed to paying the tuition fees of all Barbadian students who are enrolled at Cave Hill and the other regional campuses; but Barbados TODAY understands most of that money is owed to the local campus.

“We are trying to find the right balance between sacrifice and growth. We had to put some projects on hold,” Sir Hilary pointed out.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the university also noted that Cave Hill was trying to maintain a university of excellence in the face of financial challenges, not only at home, but across all the campus territories.

Sir Hilary said the UWI in Barbados continued to hold talks with Government and the private sector in an effort to source the necessary funding to continue developing the physical and human aspects of the institution.

We had to put some projects on hold,” informed the pro-vice chancellor.

The university’s master plan, announced Sir Hilary, was close to being completed. However, he added that only two or three institutional development projects were to be put in place.

The veteran education administrator identified them as an assembly hall, a modern library and a conference complex. The Cave Hill Campus head expects that some of these projects would be finished within the next two to three years.

Sir Hilary announced too that the local campus was looking to have its own television channel later this year. He argued that “a UWI TV time had come” and discussions were “on the table” with the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and other media houses in pursuit of introducing such a venture. (EJ)††

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