UWI Pro-Vice Chancellor and St Augustine Campus principal Prof Brian Copeland is calling on recent graduates of the university to use their experience to continue the fight of forming a society that better addresses the problems being faced by the Caribbean today.
He said his comments were inspired by the recent events in the US Capitol last Wednesday.
In a release, Copeland told the graduates they were graduating at a truly historic time.
“You came through even as the long drought of a recession came to the fore in the years preceding the pandemic and continues to this day. You persevered in continuing your studies during the lockdown, even as staff and student alike struggled to engage in teaching and learning online.
“It seems to me that you have the mettle of the kind of citizen our nations need at this point in time. Indeed, your participation in the online delivery makes you pioneers for a new UWI – a target that we have been shaping for all the years of my tenure as campus principal.”
Copeland repeated his plea to students not only to use their experience to develop themselves in their chosen fields but to develop the society they live in. He challenged them to address issues directly related to the survival of the region.
“We cannot survive without land, air and water – yours is the collective challenge of addressing the critical issues to their preservation.
“Our society cannot survive without a robust economy – yours is the collective challenge of leading the creation of the network of net foreign-exchange-earning enterprises that will dominate our economic landscape. I have challenged you before to start doing so by 2034.”
He reminded the graduates that they were beneficiaries of a public spend that covered 80 per cent of what it costs to educate them, and so their duty to society was clear.