Annually the Permanent Secretaries in the various Ministries of Education or their representatives from the sixteen contributing countries of the University of the West Indies meet in a member territory.
Their purpose according to Bursar of the University of the West Indies Mr. Archibald Campbell “is to interrogate the Budget of the University of the West Indies with a view towards making recommendations to their ministries for funding.”
In an exclusive interview with CaribDirect.com, Campbell said, “Because we operate in the Caribbean, we must remain cognizant of the economic conditions so at all times we strive for reasonableness.”
He said this on the heels of the reviewing of the Biennial Budgets for the period 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 of the four campuses of the University of the West Indies namely Cave Hill, Mona, Open Campus, and St. Augustine, along with the University Hospital of the West Indies.
The review was conducted by the Technical Advisory Committees of the University of the West Indies February 14 – 15, 2013 in Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
In addition to the Permanent Secretaries at that meeting, also present were senior executives of the University including the Vice-Chancellor, Bursars, University Registrar, Principals, Pro Vice-Chancellors, the CEO of the University Hospital of the West Indies, and the Financial Controller.
“At these meetings we seek support for areas which develop the Caribbean,” the UWI Bursar pointed out, adding “We have recognized the demand by our people for increased opportunities for education, which at the same time, the cost of providing such opportunities are becoming more expensive.”
Campbell did not elaborate but indicated that there are always ongoing discussions behind the scenes towards obtaining more funding and other forms of support for the UWI.
“This is made even more difficult as we seek to gear the educating of our people towards the specific needs of Caribbean development, without isolating the rest of the world.”
Modules are currently and are always being looked at, and he believes that those modules have assisted in those shouldered with the responsibility of authorizing funding in making the necessary decisions.
“Notwithstanding, there are always intense discussions when decision time comes for it is the taxpayers’ dollars one is speaking of,” added the UWI official. “We always try to fulfill the mandate given to us, hence the reason why the University has been able to produce so many educated West Indians.”
Campbell also told CaribDirect.com that following all meetings, there are constant reviews by the relevant personnel in order to ensure that there is prudent spending, and the budgetary allocations not just meet the stated objectives, but at times go the extra mile to use that common phrase.