The third article in the series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of The University of the West Indies as an independent degree granting institution
This year, 2013, the Cave Hill Campus of The University of the West Indies celebrates its 50th anniversary. But did you know that The UWI in Barbados had its genesis in the idea that an Evening Institute be established by the new University of the West Indies? A quick perusal of the Minutes of University Council, its sub-committee—the Finance and General Purposes Committee, (F&GPC) and University Senate indicates the importance the stakeholders gave the project.
Highlights of the Meetings are as follows:
January 1962: the University Senate received correspondence from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Barbados requesting the University to consider establishing an Evening Institute in the island. This Evening Institute was to cater to about 100 students and provide courses leading to degrees for persons who have attained Higher School or Advanced Level Certificates. The proposal stated, inter alia, that “the Government (would) supply a site for the erection of the Institute, possibly near the proposed Extra-Mural Centre in [Pine] St. Michael” now the present-day Open Campus Barbados Country Site.
February 1962: University Council approved this idea.
November 1962: At the meeting of the F&GPC, this idea blossomed into a Liberal Arts College and was agreed upon, with proposed funding from the British Government.
Things moved speedily along.
March 1963: The expenditure for the hiring of academic and administrative staff was approved.
April 1963: Meeting of F&GPC noted that the University Senate Committee on Estimates endorsed the decision of the Finance & General Purposes Committee on the provision of funds for the establishment of the Liberal Arts College in Barbados and for the post of Senior Assistant Registrar at the helm of the new venture’s administration.
June 1963: At the meeting of the F&GPC, a paper was tabled “which contained letters from the Ministry of Education, Barbados, and the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Barbados, Incorporated, dealing with the handing over of the Trade Fair Site to the University of the West Indies [near the Bridgetown Harbour] for use as temporary Lecture rooms and administrative offices for the College of Arts & Science until such time as the permanent buildings of the College were ready. The paper referred also to the grant of $ 85,000 made in favour of the University by the Junior Chamber of Commerce Incorporated towards the furtherance of University education in Barbados.”
July 1963: F&GPC Meeting dealt with finalising the funding, academic staffing and language courses to be offered and considered the appointment of a Principal for the College of Arts and Science, Barbados.
September 1963: The Vice-Chancellor reported to F&GPC that Mr. L.R.B. Robinson, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Head, Department of Mathematics, had accepted the invitation to act as Principal of the College of Arts & Science, Barbados.
October 1963: ceremonies were held at the Harbour Site in Bridgetown Barbados, which the Vice Chancellor reported, to the UF&GPC, “were a great success and paid tribute to the excellent work done by Professor H.D. Huggins, Pro-Vice-Chancellor [at St Augustine, Trinidad], Mr. L.R.B. Robinson, the Acting Principal in Barbados, and the various Advisory Committees. Teaching at the College began thereafter with 118 registered students.
December 1963: UF&GPC agreed that the name of the College in Barbados should be “The College of Arts and Science, Barbados”
1966: The existence of the Cave Hill Campus began when the Chancellor, HRH Princess Alice, laid the foundation stone for the buildings at the site on January 25.
1967: The first phase of the building programme was completed in the summer, and the College moved to its present site at Cave Hill in August. On October 16, the College of Arts and Science at Barbados opened the academic year at the new university buildings at Cave Hill, on a 45 acre site provided by the Government of Barbados.
1968: To mark the opening of the College campus at Cave Hill, staff of the College organized a formal opening ceremony held on February 6, at which the Chancellor, HRH Princess Alice received the 1967 graduates.
1970: With the establishment of the Faculty of Law, the name of the College was changed to the Cave Hill Campus of The University of the West Indies. It maintains close relationships with Codrington College (founded 1745) and the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), both affiliated institutions of the University of the West Indies.