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UNICA Welcomes New President

For Release Upon Receipt - Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Vice-Chancellor of The University of The West Indies (UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, is the current President of the Association of Caribbean Universities and Research Institutes (UNICA). The Presidency of this Regional Association was returned to The UWI at the meeting of its executive in February 2016. Vice-Chancellor Beckles holds the UNICA Presidency for the period 2016-18.

Meeting with the UNICA Executive, Vice-Chancellor Beckles urged its members to become advocates for regional development and requested their collaboration to create a vision for this development. He related the interest of the Caribbean community in convening a symposium where the role of the University in regional development would be addressed. He then charged UNICA’s Executive with the production of a publication that speaks to the work and role of Caribbean universities.

UNICA, established 49 years ago, is the only consortium of Caribbean universities, whose membership (currently 24), represents the diverse linguistic groupings in the Caribbean. Member institutions come from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti, French Antilles, Dutch Antilles, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands, UWI territories and Guyana. The Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC)and The City University of New York(CUNY) are Affiliate Members.

UNICA’s primary mission is to promote alliances among regional universities, university networks and research institutes to increase cooperation, encourage faculty and student exchange, and intensify collaborative research.

To this end, since February, UNICA has opened up its membership and has cemented partnerships with other networks such as the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) and the Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAIE). It also signed the Alliance for Academic Mobility, an initiative of Council of Iberoamerican Universities (SEGIB-CUIB) and is a Member of the Pro Tempore Executive Committee of ENLACES (Common Academic Space). UNICA is also a Member of the IESALC-UNESCO Working Group addressing the revision of the UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications in the LAC region as well as a member of the CARIFORUM-EU Consultative Committee.


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