UWIOC considers plight of Dominican students

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus is making special arrangements for Dominican students.

Director of sites of the Open Campus Dr Francis Severin made the announcement today as that aspect of the UWI along with the wider Cave Hill Campus handed over supplies to the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) to assist people in that Eastern Caribbean nation.

Approximately 335 Dominicans pursue studies at the Open Campus, about 100 being new students.

“Those are the ones who would be more affected because they have to sort of learn to use the learning exchange system. So you are talking about 100 directly affected, but then we have to treat each on a case-to-case basis because you can imagine this disaster brought different types of impacts and traumas on each student.

“We have students who are very anxious to begin in Dominica, their particular programmes, and we are making arrangements for that, as well as to allay and assuage their fears in terms of the commencement of their academic pursuits. So we are very grateful . . . for all our benefactors,” he said.

He said while most of the courses at the Open Campus in that jurisdiction were online and the campus site in Dominica was not damaged, it was still necessary for measures to be put in place since the utility and internet connection had been affected.

“We are online and you know the power and internet connectivity would have been affected. Even where power would have returned you wouldn’t necessarily have the internet connectivity returning,” he said.

As such, Severin said officials had been working “feverishly in counselling students and advising them” on whether they should defer their start dates to January 2016.

“Also, for those who feel that they cannot begin [now] then we will assist in terms of some deferred dates and that sort of thing. It is being worked out on the ground [in Dominica] as I speak because we recognized that our students would be affected in that regard,” said Severin.

The UWI Open Campus has 44 physical site locations in 17 English-speaking Caribbean countries, offering multi-mode teaching and learning services through virtual and on-site classes. (MM)

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