Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. WI. 06 October 2015: On September 30, 2015, UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and President of Sophia University in Japan, Takashi Hayashita signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at enhancing bilateral relationships that will enhance research and education at both institutions, while expanding the spectrum of academic collaboration and cultural awareness between the universities.
The MOU signing at Jamaica House, followed the bilateral meetings held between the heads of government; Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller and Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.
Grounded within the context of long-standing relations between Japan and the countries within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), along with the Government of Japan’s commitment to further strengthening its relations with CARICOM, the agreement outlines several areas for academic, scientific and educational cooperation. In addition to the exchange of faculty, scholars and students at all levels, the MOU commits to developing and implementing joint research programmes in areas such as sustainable development, climate change, marine biodiversity and the blue economy, and the application of technology to drive economic development.
With The UWI as a significant contributor to regional intellectual growth and human development, in commenting on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor Beckles expounded on the critical value of the agreement in terms of fuelling much needed economic growth and wealth creation within the Caribbean region, while underscoring Japan’s academic contribution and strong footprint in the Caribbean.
Drawing clear alignment between this agreement and his leadership vision for the regional institution, he said, “The circumstances of the Caribbean today demand that we innovate, and that we diversify our economies; by engendering greater entrepreneurial spirit and
even greater emphasis on research and innovation. Establishing strong linkages with partner institutions, especially those with similar strategic thrusts as ours, augers well for enabling the level of economic turnaround and wealth generation that the Caribbean so desperately needs. With partners like Sophia University, we are taking UWI closer to becoming a global brand of education”.