UWI Open Campus to rebrand to reduce $$ woes

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly -
Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly -

EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has said the main reason for the UWI Open Campus's current financial woes is the funding model, which had not changed since it was launched in 2008.

She was speaking in the Senate on January 23.

The model, she said, assumed 35 per cent financial contributions from the university's 17 contributing governments and 65 per cent from tuition fees and entrepreneurial activities.

"No dedicated seed (research) funding was allocated by the UWI or the contributing governments for the newly-established campus. Instead, the assets and liabilities of the entities that were amalgamated to form the open campus were transferred to this new campus.

"Without the seed funding, the cost of operating the campus exceeded total revenues earned by it year over year. Hence the unpaid obligations kept climbing as the years progressed."

She said the campus further said it does not get enough revenue from tuition fees, which contributes greatly to its financial woes.

"The campus management has stated that the Open Campus was established to be a self-financing enterprise, but the fees were never set at a level that took this into consideration."

She said loans kept the campus alive.

To assist, she said, the campus will transition to the Global Campus, "to leverage (its) reputation in the global market."

This would ensure the university's intellectual property will be available to online audiences, "thus creating an increased revenue stream for the campus.

"This includes online courses, global research partnerships and internationalised curricula.

She added that despite the rebranding, governments will not have to contribute additional funds.

The campus is also working on reducing its operational costs, and anticipates in three-five years, it will become profitable and "continue on a sustainable path."


"UWI Open Campus to rebrand to reduce $$ woes"

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