Dangerous idea from the UWI principal

Prof Rose-Marie Belle Antoine  - Roger Jacob
Prof Rose-Marie Belle Antoine - Roger Jacob

THE EDITOR: At her inaugural address on January 22, UWI St Augustine Prof Rose-Marie Belle Antoine declared that “admissions can no longer be based purely on CAPE results.”

This is a dangerous precedent that should be resisted by parents, students and policymakers. It appears that Antoine is attempting to import affirmative ideas from the US that have already begun to undermine competence in the sciences and even medical practice in that country.

Does anyone really want a B-student cutting into them in an operating theatre or trying to get back their money from a fraudster in court?

The fact is, top-level performance in academics generally predicts competence in a person’s chosen profession. Adding other criteria, such as social activism, does not increase professionalism and, indeed, when such activism is politically driven, may well reflect less adherence to professional standards and ethics.

If these alternative standards are introduced, UWI graduates will also be considered less competent than people who earned their degrees from accredited foreign universities. This will be because nobody will know who got into UWI because of their top grades and who from the victimhood criteria that Antoine favours.

Instead, when hiring people out of, say, UWI’s Law Faculty or Medical School, people will start applying heuristics based on criteria other than grades, since they will know this is no longer a reliable indicator of learning. This will actually disadvantage the people the new UWI principal claims to want to help.


San Fernando


"Dangerous idea from the UWI principal"

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