The University of TT (UTT) will close four of its eleven campuses by the end of the current semester. In a brief interview with Newsday on Monday, Chairman of UTT Professor Clement Imbert said staff at the four campuses will be filtered to the remaining locations.
Imbert said the decision to close was made in order to merge with the nearly-completed Tamana campus in Wallerfield. “The idea was to move to that campus,” he said, but part of the building is not yet complete. “We have made provisions to move to (other campuses) temporarily but long term, we want to move to the Tamana location.”
He said staff will be moved to the campuses in San Fernando and Couva.
The campuses that will be closing are the O’Meara Campus in Arima, the Corinth Campus in San Fernando and the Chaguanas Campus. The Valsayn Campus is already closed.
Imbert said the other campuses could not be closed because they were either centrally located or they have very expensive equipment that could not be moved. “We’ve closed the campuses we could close.”
He said the board cannot consider closing any other campuses until the Tamana location is complete.
He said they are still in discussions with the government and he could not say if staff would be let go at this time. “We can’t tell what is going to happen. We don’t know (but) everybody has to adjust.”
He said there is some tension among staff as to their future. “When you have these kinds of changes, people are going to be nervous,” he said.
“Whatever we do, we have a responsibility to the students. The staff is another matter. It is very difficult times for the country, so people will be nervous.”
Imbert said the Tamana campus has 15 completed classrooms and space for administrative staff. “When we are ready to resume (face-to-face classes) we could accommodate at least 1,500 students there.”
He said if need be, the location will be ready to re-open in January. He said since Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced University students will be permitted face-to-face classes for practicum work, they are hopeful practicums can resume from next semester