EDUCATION

UWI And State University Of New York Sign MOU

According to JIS report, the University of the West Indies (UWI) and State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY) have signed an agreement to help achieve the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and to facilitate programmes to foster and develop cooperative relationships. 

The memorandum of understanding (MOU), was signed in Buffalo, New York, recently by UWI Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and SUNY’s University at Buffalo, President, Satish K. Tripathi. It provides for solutions-oriented research and programme delivery, focused on issues of development concern and relevance to the Caribbean and New York State. 

Included are areas that have been identified in previous UWI-SUNY analyses, such as climate change, renewable energy, public health, education, and marine resource management.  

The areas are expected to widen to include research relevant to democratic participation, leadership and governance, with a focus on solutions to specific problems constraining the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The MOU, which connects the University at Buffalo (UB) with the five UWI campuses in the Caribbean university system, will foster collaborations between faculty and students, encourage more research and study-abroad opportunities, and create a new shared graduate programme. 

“The research will be undertaken by joint UWI-SUNY expert teams pursuing a multidisciplinary approach and drawing on external expertise as appropriate,” the MOU said. 

In his remarks President Tripathi said the agreement will facilitate strong ties between the faculties of both universities and “our research and academic programmes”. 

“With this memorandum of understanding between UB and UWI, we formalize our commitment to build upon our shared strengths, harness our disciplinary expertise and foster collaborations in service of the greater good,” he said.  

“As we work together to foster global sustainability and resiliency, our endeavors will be that much more impactful by virtue of our shared contributions,” he added. 

The UWI Vice Chancellor, in his remarks, said, “Now is the time for universities to rise and show their responsibilities in the areas of sustainable development and public health because those goals are only going to be achieved if institutions are standing on the infrastructure of activism. We can only do so through partnerships and collaboration of the various universities.”  

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States (US), Her Excellency Audrey Marks, welcomed the MOU between SUNY Buffalo and UWI. 

She advised that she will co-chair a new task force, through the Embassy of Jamaica, that will include representatives of the US Government, the National Association of Jamaican and Supporting Organizations (NAJASO), UWI, key business partners and community members. 

The task force will ensure that the necessary policy and funding support are in place to sustain and strengthen the partnership through the SUNY-UWI Centre for Leadership and Sustainable Development (CLSD).  

The MOU follows a previous partnership between UWI and SUNY in 2013, which had among its main goals the creation of the CLSD to attract future global leaders and catalyze transformative research collaborations across the campuses of the universities that are relevant to democratic participation, leadership, and governance. 

The focus was to find solutions to specific problems that are hindering individual countries from achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, explained, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Gene Morse, who also serves as an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI Mona campus. 

In addition, he noted, the CLSD is the strategic center that will mobilize SUNY, UWI and other invited faculty to provide mentorship for master’s candidates enrolled in the UWI International School for Development Justice, creating a solid research foundation to guide sustainable development projects around the globe. 

Source: JIS

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