(PRESS RELEASE) – The Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy & Services (SRC) of The University of the West Indies (UWI) last week welcomed twenty-two new students under a special dispensation of its flagship Masters in International Trade Policy (MITP) Programme, created through collaboration between the SRC and the Commission of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and tailored to the needs of OECS nationals.
The students are beneficiaries of a fully-funded scholarship made possible by the European Union (EU) through its TradeCom II Project – Building ACP Trade Capacity. The OECS-MITP Programme will end in March 2021.
The scholarship recipients, who hail from across the OECS territories, were formally welcomed at a reception held in their honour on Friday, February 28th at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business. The reception was attended by officials from the OECS Commission, Senior University Administrative staff and faculty, current students and alumni of the MITP programme.
In his official welcome, SRC Director Neil Paul highlighted the feat of the regular MITP in training over 200 students from across the Caribbean. He referred to studies showing that MITP graduates have found employment not just in the highest levels of government, foreign embassies and regional and international organisations, but also in the private sector. Deputy Principal of The UWI Cave Hill Campus, Professor Winston Moore, explained that the OECS-MITP Programme fits within current initiatives of the UWI, focused on offering specialized training. The Programme is backed by the name and brand of The UWI, which ranks among the top 4% of universities in the world and top 2% in the Latin America and Caribbean region.
Project Manager of the ACP TradeCom II Project with the OECS Commission, Mr. Winsbert Louison, urged the recipients to take advantage of the opportunity, and looked forward to their contributions in furthering the mandate of the OECS Commission in expanding the OECS’ trade capacity and solidifying their economic union.
Delivering the evening’s keynote address entitled “The Place of the OECS in a Changing World”, Dr. Wendy Grenade, OECS-MITP Faculty Member, and Head of the Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology of The UWI Cave Hill Campus, gave inspiration to the new students. She reiterated that they were joining a tradition of excellence at the University of the West Indies, where “one flies and all soar”. Dr. Grenade divided her address into two parts: the first explored the historical journey of the OECS, and the second considered implications for the OECS small states in a new world. She cautioned the students to be philosophically grounded as they engage the multilateral system, and encouraged them to pursue trade policy conscientiously, and with an understanding of the machinations of global geopolitics. Replying on behalf of the new students, Ms. Leah Crag-Chaderton expressed the group’s thanks, quipping that while they had all come on ‘different ships’, they were all now in the “same boat”.
The evening closed with a cocktail reception.