The UWI Mona and Norfolk State University sign MOU

The UWI Mona and Norfolk State University sign MOU

(L-R) Seated: Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, President and Professor Dale Webber, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The UWI Mona. Standing: Dr. Aurelia Williams, Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs; Dr. DoVeanna Fulton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr Donovan Stanberry, Campus Registrar, The UWI Mona Campus; and Mr. Torian L. Lee (J.D.), Director, Global Learning and International Programs.

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Mona and Norfolk State University (NSU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to areas of cooperation while on an official visit to Jamaica. The agreement was the culmination of a series of face to face and virtual engagements between the two institutions over several months. The official visit to the Campus occurred over the course of two days when the team visited the Western Jamaica Campus and The Discovery Bay Marine Lab on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 and the Mona Campus on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.  

Speaking at the signing, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Mona, Professor Dale Webber said “When the University started out in 1948, we had a mission – to serve the Caribbean. Our last strategic plan was to revitalize Caribbean development; our new mission is taking that our development into a Revenue Revolution. But we recognize that to do this, we will need partners. We will need to be agile, flexible and we need to find friends in near and far places to share in some of the benefits. 

“As we grow as a University, we recognise that we have been able to punch way above our weight, we have been able to supply 22 Prime Ministers to countries around the Caribbean; we have been able to provide four (4) Nobel Laureates; more than 70 Fulbright Scholars, now we are leaders in Climate Change, and Social Policy. We are happy that NSU decided to visit and has decided to partner with us. The MOU and this partnership opens up a multiplicity of opportunities for The UWI.”

Addressing the senior management team, Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, President of the NSU, shared that NSU is in the top 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). She said, “We stand on student success… we want our students to be the best whether they are engaged in teaching or service. The lessons that they learn will change their lives.

“We want all our students to do two things before they leave us – internship and travel abroad. Firstly, they must have an internship. Why is that important? We know that when students intern they are more likely to get a job offer… They must have a sense of diversity and inclusion where they can work across cultures and across borders. Secondly, they must travel; our students need international experience, and there is no better place than The UWI! We want to create that opportunity for students to go abroad, to be immersed in a culture and to find their way, their voice, and their sense of being a citizen of the world in a way that helps them to be their best self.”

As gleaned in the MOU, the areas of cooperation will include, a range of activities and programmes geared towards fostering and developing a cooperative relationship between the two institutions. Additionally, the methods of collaboration according to the MOU will include: joint research activities; joint teaching and  supervision of students; the staging of joint seminars, conferences and academic meetings. The agreement will also facilitate education abroad for undergraduate and graduate students, including exchanges, internships, electives and practicum. The agreement will also see the exchange of academic materials and other information; and a variety of other collaborative academic programmes.

This Memorandum of Understanding will remain in effect for a five year period subject to the availability of funds.

Following the MOU signing, the NSU delegation and a UWI Mona contingent consisting of the Executive Management Team, and the Deans/Directors of select faculties and departments, had a working Brunch where they explored areas for collaboration. Presentations were heard from the Deans of Sport, Social Sciences, Humanities and Education, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, as well as the Head of the School of Nursing, and the Directors of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, and the Office of Student Services and Development. Following the Brunch, the NSU delegation was treated to a tour of the Campus, the Leslie Robinson Hall (courtesy of 138 Student Living), and the UWI Museum.