On Tuesday, November 14, 2023 the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of the West Indies Global Campus (UWIGC), both located on the Olympic Way campus in George Town. This significant event heralds the beginning of a collaborative partnership between two academic powerhouses in the Caribbean, designed to enhance educational opportunities and bridge the skills gap within the Cayman Islands.
The two institutions, that have long shared a physical space in George Town, have always operated separately up until this point. This new joint initiative will see UCCI and UWIGC collaborate on programmes of study to address skill gaps, facilitate academic events such as seminars, lectures, training, and research initiatives, and create pathways for UCCI students to further their studies at UWIGC, thereby expanding opportunities for progression to higher levels of education and training for Caymanians.
It will also expand UCCI’s online offerings, making education more accessible and available to all.
The institutions have also agreed to join forces to secure large scale research grants and funding, contributing to the educational prosperity of the Cayman Islands.
Dr. Robert W. Robertson, President, and CEO of UCCI, elaborated on the partnership, stating, “This MOU isn’t just about mutual goals; it’s a promise to our students and academic community. Through this partnership, we’re building a bridge to an array of opportunities that will empower students with the skills and knowledge essential for success in our global economy.”
Dr. Cheryl Sloley, Director of the UWI Global Campus Country Sites, reflected on the collaborative vision, “Our alliance with UCCI marks a groundbreaking shiti in Caribbean education as we collaborate to enhance the higher education platiorm both within the Cayman Islands and the wider Caribbean Our collective expertise and resources will not only seek to expand quality academic offerings but will also ensure that our students are well-equipped to participate, lead and innovate in a dynamic world.”
The Signing Ceremony at UCCI on Tuesday, November 14, included opening remarks by Mr. Gilbert McLean, UCCI Board Chairman, an address from a representative of the Ministry of Education, and strategic insights from Dr. Robertson and Dr. Sloley regarding the vision and the developmental impact of the partnership.
Mr. Jerome McCoy, Acting Deputy Chief Officer from the Ministry of Education, commented, “This Memorandum of Understanding between the University College of the Cayman Islands and the University of the West Indies Global Campus exemplifies a commitment to strategic partnerships in education. It is a testament to the forward-thinking approach of these institutions and their dedication to providing students with a comprehensive and globally competitive education.
Our Ministry views collaborative efforts among tertiary institutions as integral to achieving our national educational goals. By working together, institutions can pool resources, expertise, and best practices to create an environment that nurtures academic excellence and contributes to the overall development of our nation’s human capital.”
Dr. Robertson concluded, “After years of proximity and separate paths, this synergy between UCCI and UWIGC is a natural progression that will elevate the educational experience for our students and enhance the academic landscape across the Cayman Islands.”