Random thoughts on Universities in the Post COVID-19 Era: Time for a Regional Conversation
(Global Frontier Advisory and Development Service) Over the past two weeks, both the University of Guyana (UG) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) have addressed the issues of surviving in the post COVID era. In the case of UG, the discussions centered on the construction of the Strategic Blueprint (Plan) to 2040.
Its emphasis is on rolling out hybrid education placing priorities on creating viable research centres, multidisciplinary approaches and a business model for ensuring sustainability.
For UWI, its focus is on implementing the Triple Strategy: Access, Alignment and Agility to revitalise Caribbean Development 2017-2022. Emphasis has been placed on its substantial research profile and global approach to partnering with institutions in Africa, Canada, China, European Union and USA. These attributes have contributed to UWI’s high ranking in the 400-500 band or the top 2.5% of Universities in the world, based on the 2021 Times Educational Impact Rankings. The details of these activities reveal that both UG’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Paloma Mohamed Martin and UWI’s Vice Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles and their senior management teams must be congratulated for their creative leadership in confronting the challenges of these COVID-19 times.
The severity of the times that affect the region’s higher educational institutions is articulated in ” A post pandemic assessment of the SDGs”, a new study by the IMF ( April 29, 2021). The study proposes a framework for developing countries to evaluate policy choices that can raise long-term growth, mobilise more revenue, and attract private investments to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit countries’ development agendas hard, is an understatement with reference to the Caribbean.
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