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NSU and UWI Mona sign MOU

NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston addresses UWI Mona during MOU signing.The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Mona, and Norfolk State University (NSU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) 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 November 22, and the Mona campus on November 23.

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 revitalise Caribbean development; our new mission is taking our development into a revenue revolution. But we recognise 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 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 open 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. 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. First, 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. Second, 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; and 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 MOU will remain in effect for a five-year period, subject to the availability of funds.