Calling out boys on the block
The newly appointed Principal of the University of the West Indies Open Campus Professor Eudine Barriteau is concerned that not enough young men in the Caribbean are tapping into the opportunities provided for them to complete their tertiary education.
And as the campus prepares to expand its programming, she is hoping to “get them off the blocks and in front their laptops” engaged in higher learning.
The former head of the UWI’s Centre for Gender and Development Studies for 15 years and deputy principal of the Cave Hill campus, was appointed on August 1 to her new position.
During a media briefing today at her office, she said the Campus would be utilizing a CAN$21 million grant provided by the Government of Canada last year in its drive towards “expansion, penetration and financial sustainability”.
“The young men are a special target because in terms of the senior administration of the university,” she told reporters.
“We are concerned that a lot of young men don’t tap into tertiary education, and to the extent that we can design programmes to attract them we would want to do that. We want them to realize their fullest potential.
“In a sense they represent an untapped market. If I could get them off the blocks and in front their laptops, I would be very thrilled that they’re doing something,” she said, while noting that “they are attracted to different types of programming and as educators we have a responsibility to cater to them”.
Also taking part in the press conference, the campus’ Director of Academic Programming and Development Dr Joel Warrican said recognizing the “changing landscape” in education, “we have some programmes that we are thinking about.
“These ones we think are the most exciting, that we imagine will get the males coming into the campus.
“We are thinking about multi-media design and development with majors in graphics and multi-media management design and development; web game design, apps development, cyber security,” he explained.
The campus currently serves 17 Caribbean countries with actual campuses in seven territories, including one at the Pine in Barbados. For this academic year, there are 4,700 persons engaged in online programmes and over 20,000 in face-to-face classroom sessions.