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UWI FIC is critical to improvements in the Human Development index

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The continued expansion of the physical structure and the programme offerings at
the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus are critical to Antigua and
Barbuda’s improvements on the United Nations Human Development Index
Last week, the latest HDI report placed Antigua and Barbuda at number 54 out of
the 193 countries that were ranked. That means the twin-island state improved by
twenty points since the last report was compiled five years ago.
Speaking at Thursday’s meeting of the UWI FIC University Council, Education
Minister, Daryl Matthew said the presence of the university here in Antigua and
Barbuda is critical to sustaining improvements in the HDI.
“We speak about the movement of some of the OECS countries in the HDI, but to
continue to sustain that upward trajectory we have to have institutions like this,
properly positioned, to drive the development trajectory of our country; to drive the
thought processes of our country,” he emphasized.
Minister Matthew said the government recognizes its commitment and
responsibility to support the continued expansion of the university as he announced
that ground breaking of the first phase of the expansion programme will take place
in the third quarter of the year. The first phase is the construction of new primary
He revealed that the selection of a design consultants is a ‘mere weeks away’. The
consultants will be responsible for taking the master-plan and turn them into a set
of architectural drawings. In additional, he reported that the tendering for
contractors for phase one will also begin shortly.
According to Minister Matthew…the UWI FIC has to continue to grow and to
expand to meet the development needs not just of Antigua and Barbuda, but for the
rest of the OECS as well. “It is no longer a small institution with a set of buildings
originally meant for a secondary school, but it is now being built out to become a
state-of-the-art institution; a model university; a model campus that will be the
envy of many,” he declared.
The education minister added that he anticipates that the physical expansion of the
university to include dormitories, will over time see a greater percentage of the

student body coming from the other OECS countries and beyond. Currently, the
rate is 91 percent Antigua and Barbuda residents.

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