Kingston, Jamaica – A major development in the transformation of the Higher Education sector in the Caribbean took place in the Dominican Republic, November 12th and 13th, 2018. Presidents and Rectors of dozens of Universities and Research Institutes in the Caribbean region, historically associated as UNICA, convened in General Assembly, in order to reorganize, revitalize and rebrand the organisation to achieve greater relevance for the 21st century.
Academic leaders from Cuba, Haiti, Caricom, Puerto Rico, Colombia, the French speaking Antilles, and the Dutch speaking Antilles after voting to restructure UNICA resolved to create a new organisation which was approved “UNIVERSITIES CARIBBEAN”. The general mandate given UNIVERSITIES CARIBBEAN is to integrate the regional university sector and to enhance its quality and regional impact. The approved strategic plan [Triple R] is built upon three pillars: to improve the Reputation of the sector; to enhance the Resilience of the member universities; and to increase the Revenue position of members and sector.
Projects to promote student mobility across the region, and to create joint research around important regional challenges, were approved for implementation. The organising principle guiding these projects is “ONE CARIBBEAN”. Officials from UNESCO and other UN development agencies who were invited as strategic partners welcomed the launch of UNIVERSITIES CARIBBEAN and pledged commitment to the objectives of promoting greater integration and partnership across the regional universities.
Elected as president of the newly launched UNIVERSITIES CARIBBEAN is Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. The executive committee comprises:
Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, President of UNIVERSITIES CARIBBEAN and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies
Padre D. Ramón Alfredo de la Cruz Baldera, Rector, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), Dominican Republic
Dr. Jorge Haddock-Acevedo, Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR), Puerto Rico
Dr. Francis de Lanoy, Rector Magnificus, University of Curaçao (UC), Curaçao
Professor Eustase Janky, President, Université des Antilles, Guadeloupe (Represented by Professor Fred Reno)
Dr. Elmo Bell Smythe, Universidad Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Venezuela (ULAC), Venezuela
Dr. Myriam Moïse, Acting Secretary General of UNIVERSITIES CARIBBEAN and Associate Professor, Université des Antilles, Martinique President President Beckles informed the Assembly that UNIVERSITIES CARIBBEAN will bring the region in line with other parts of the hemisphere and world where similar regional university organisations exist to support and direct the effective planning and networking of higher education program and research. UNIVERSITIES CARIBBEAN will be the region’s voice in the areas of quality, globalization, resilience, and financial sustainability.