Two prominent Caribbean enterprises have joined forces to create educational opportunities for persons whose acquired expertise could help in the regional push towards sustainable development.
Sol – one of the the Caribbean’s leading oil company and The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus formally signed a three-year agreement which provides funding for high performing students enrolled in Engineering, Social Sciences and Science & Technology Faculties across the campuses of the University of the West Indies including Cave Hill, Mona, St. Augustine and the Open Campus.
Eligible students at the undergraduate and post graduate levels stand to benefit from a pool of just under BDS$1 million which will be contributed by Sol over the next three years.
The Sol/UWI partnership adheres to the social investment and community development activities which Sol has been undertaking across the region.
The energy company, however, has broken new ground in the agreement which supports, among other objectives, a focus on Renewable Energy studies.
CEO of The Sol Group, Gerard Cox affirmed Sol’s commitment to remaining a meaningful partner with its customers and with the communities which Sol serves.
He emphasised the company’s specific interest in the development of the youth and the importance of private sector investment in the educational system in the region.
“This partnership agreement with the UWI demonstrates Sol’s commitment to a brighter future for the young people of the region; and to developing their human resource capacity in a variety of important areas, while taking the lead in facilitating the developing discussion on alternative and renewable energy sources and solutions”, he said.
Principal of Cave Hill Campus, Sir Hilary Beckles, while expressing his personal delight at the formalisation of the agreement, reiterated his views on the private sector’s critical role in funding science and technology capacity needs.
He said the University was pleased to have such a credible donor as Sol on board, and stressed that the advancement of renewable energy research was one of the key objectives of the Campus’ 2012-2017 strategic goals.
“This agreement between UWI Cave Hill Campus and SOL will in the first instance support graduate teaching, learning and research in renewable energy, as well as the creation of new careers in marketing, logistics and supply chain management. SOL’s generosity will support Cave Hill’s research into the next generation of biofuels, and contribute to the leadership necessary to sustain Barbados’ and the region’s commitment in developing a green economy”, he added.
The three-year SOL/UWI Scholarship Fund Agreement comes at a critical time in regional development as the UWI seeks to expand the reach and relevance of its programmes to deliver greater competitive advantages to students from across the Caribbean region.