The UWI and University of Botswana to Collaborate on Key Areas

The UWI and University of Botswana to Collaborate on Key Areas

Professor Densil A Williams (right), Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, The UWI Mona, exchanges tokens of appreciation with Professor David Norris, Vice Chancellor, University of Botswana (UB) at the end of a Welcome Session and Meeting in the Council Room, Mona Campus on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and the University of Botswana (UB) formalised a partnership on Thursday through an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in areas such as research, governance, academic publications, student and staff exchanges, and teaching and learning.

A six-member delegation from UB, led by Professor David Norris, Vice Chancellor, visited the Mona Campus from May 16 to 17, 2024, as part of a larger effort to connect and explore new possibilities within the Caribbean Community.  During their visit to the Mona Campus, the delegation participated in high-level collaborative meetings with senior management, led by Professor Densil A. Williams, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, The UWI, Mona, and Acting Deputy Principal Professor Marvin Reid. 

“The UB and the UWI, despite the challenges with funding, were able to build fine universities that are ranked among the elite in the global academic community. This was not an effortless task and was done through adroit partnerships and collaboration like what we are embarking on today.  We will endeavour to make these partnerships work to the benefit of both institutions,” Professor Williams remarked in his opening address. 

Vice Chancellor Norris in his  remarks, expressed gratitude to Principal Williams for accommodating the UB team and noted that, “ both institutions can work together to overcome common challenges that affect our societies today.  We have this almost similar structures and a lot of areas where we can work on together to solve big problems that governments and industry are not able to solve.”   

The UB delegation also visited the PJ Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy where they held discussions with Mr PJ Patterson, Statesman-in-Residence, and other members of the team, including His Excellency Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, patron, Mr Mickel Hylton, chief research officer, and Professor Paulette Ramsay, research fellow. At this meeting, the parties explored ways both regions could work together to address environment and cultural issues, while forging stronger economic ties.

The UB delegation sought to develop collaborations in areas such as media and cultural studies, tourism and hospitality management and sports development, but came away from the consultation meetings with so much more. The delegation saw potential opportunities in the creative arts, trade and economic relations, climate change, food security, and technology, sports medicine, among other areas. The five-year MoU signed on Thursday by Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Affairs, Sandrea Maynard, and Professor David Norris, Vice Chancellor, UB, will give teeth to discussions such as the ones had by Mr Patterson and Vice Chancellor Norris.  It will also give birth to the shared vision held by Professor Williams and Vice Chancellor Norris to forge a stronger bond between The UWI and UB family.

The MoU emphasises the importance of collaboration, and paves the way for The UWI and UB to build stronger bonds, share knowledge and explore meaningful initiatives in areas of mutual interest. At the brief signing ceremony, PVC Maynard expressed her approval of the partnership. She highlighted the potential for cultural exchange, which she said would benefit both universities, especially its young people who needed to connect with each other. She also told the delegation that her office works closely with Mr Patterson and the PJ Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy, and was looking forward to the collaborations.