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The UWI Open Campus and UNESCO  launch training for 300 young Caribbean creatives

Office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Friday, May 27, 2022 — The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus and UNESCO have launched the Phase 2 of their collaboration agreement to offer online cultural training in the framework of the UNESCO Programme Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through Culture and Creativity, funded by the European Union.  In this second phase, the training focuses on expanding the entrepreneurial skills of artists and young cultural professionals in the Caribbean.

Ms Anneshia Welsh, Head of the Business Development Unit of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus, in her project overview, noted that  “our institution shares the mission of the UNESCO Transcultura Programme of harnessing diversity and building bridges between people and cultures from different linguistic areas”. 

437 applications were received and 304 individuals, engaged in cultural industries, have been awarded scholarships to participate in the eleven (11) Continuing Professional Education courses facilitated by The University of the West Indies Open Campus; Brand Management, Effective Business Communication, Effective Management and Leadership, Entrepreneurship & New Venture Creation, Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management, Finance for Non- Financial Managers, Financial Monitoring and Evaluation Grant Proposal Writing, Project Management, Sales and Marketing Management and Small Business Management. 

In an exciting venture for The UWI Open Campus, these courses are being offered for the first time to participants who speak three (3) different languages: English, French and Spanish. This encouraging accomplishment allows for increasing levels of regional cooperation between English-, French- and Spanish- speaking Caribbean nationals. Dr Francis O. Severin, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus in his remarks indicated that UWI and UNESCO are providing access to a quality experience for students and, in so doing, empowering and propelling them to self-fulfillment. “We are at the same time efficiently and effectively aligned with our societies and our economies and concurrently we are demonstrating our responsiveness as well-respected regional and world organisations serving the needs of our societies through our agility,” he stated.

Ms Alessandra Borchi, Transcultura Programme Coordinator, UNESCO, stated: “We hope that through this highly specialised capacity-building we will be providing not just knowledge and skills, but future opportunities for young cultural professionals in the Caribbean. We believe that this is particularly relevant, considering that, as a result of the impact of COVID, the culture sector has been and is still being heavily disrupted. We trust that these courses and partnership will contribute to the future of young people in the Caribbean.” 

Mr Ryan Byer, Deputy Director of the Open Campus Country Sites, in his summary presentation of the student orientations, which occurred during the first week of classes, noted that, based on the feedback received from facilitators so far, there has been formal translators as well as informal translators, where participants in the respective courses who are versed in more than one language have been assisting colleagues who may not be so proficient in the other languages. “This lends to the level of engagement, comradery and it speaks also to stretching beyond the boundaries of just the English-speaking Caribbean but also fostering relations across other countries represented,” said Mr Byer.

Classes commenced on May 9, 2022 and will conclude on June 23, 2022, after which participants will receive Certificates of Achievement marking their successful completion of the courses.


About the UNESCO Transcultura Programme

Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through Culture and Creativity is the largest-scale UNESCO programme in Latin America and the Caribbean, launched in 2020 and due to end in 2023, funded by the European Union (EU).  It aims to harness diversity and build bridges between people and cultures from different linguistic areas. It is built on two components: the first focusing on strengthening the skills and capacities of young cultural professionals and the second on enhancing opportunities through knowledge transfer and exchanges. 

This will be achieved through the establishment of a Caribbean Cultural Training Hub in Cuba, linked to relevant Caribbean institutions and supported by scholarships to ensure equal access to training. The Programme will create opportunities for entrepreneurship, socio-economic projects and collaboration in the cultural and creative sectors, heritage and tourism within the Caribbean region and with the EU.


About The UWI

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region. 

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Monain Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hillin Barbados, Five IslandsinAntigua and Barbuda and itsOpen Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

Ranked among the top universities in the world, by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. In 2020, it earned ‘Triple 1st’ rankings—topping the Caribbean; and in the top in the tables for Latin America and the Caribbean, and global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old). The UWI is also featured among the top universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.) 


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