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UWI And The Priorities Of Academia

Nearing the end of April, it was announced that Trinidad’s St Augustine campus of the University Of The West Indies would be receiving a new campus principal. In October, the incumbent Professor Clement Sankat is set to be replaced by Professor Brian Copeland[1], best known for his involvement in the steelpan industry and research into steelpan technology. However, beyond passing on the torch, should reform, namely placing more focus on academic research, also be a priority as well? After all, in the last decade or so, largely thanks to GATE, UWI’s student numbers have swollen exponentially yet most of these figures were comprised of undergraduates.  Thus, postgrad numbers remained relatively low although they’re the ones who perform and conduct the bulk of academic research and inquiry. It is one of the duties of a university to epitomize the democratic virtues of debate and questioning. Thus, UWI should endeavor to encapsulate this reputation by challenging ideas and endeavouring to advance research which can improve society and the human condition.  Research in and of itself is good but emphasis must be placed on useful research that would benefit the region and its people. For example a study delving into youth violence and

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