BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Advocate – The diversity of the student body across the campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI) reflects that of the Caribbean population itself. Therefore, notwithstanding the growing segment of students coming from outside of the region, Caribbean students alone provide the multicultural mixture that many universities around the world try to emulate.
The reason for this desire for diversity is simple. The student body on any university campus is the heart and soul of the institution. A rich and vibrant student life is highly desirable because it should translate into students who are engaged, conscious and contemplative – all the attributes that indicate that one is developing the advanced cognitive and analytical abilities that are the aim of higher education. Aside from the student body, the university is also comprised of its faculty, to whom students and the wider society look for learned and considered opinion on the varied areas of their study and expertise. Together, the students and faculty represent a special community within the national society, made so by virtue of their academic enlightenment.
Accordingly, it is expected that when the members of the university community open up their activities to the public, that it be such that guests can be enriched by their interaction with the university community. In this regard, we can find no fault with the faculty and administration of the University. This island’s social calendar is replete with lectures, showcases and seminars hosted by the University, where faculty members engage the public on a variety of socially relevant issues. We also note that students of the performing arts have made efforts to share their work with the wider community.