Transcultura Programme – UWI and UNESCO
Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Monday, August 23, 2021—The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus has signed an agreement with UNESCO to collaborate on its Transcultura Programme: Integrating Cuba, Caribbean and The European Union through Culture and Creativity, which aims to harness diversity and build bridges between people and cultures from different linguistic areas. The programme is being implemented by UNESCO and funded by the European Union.
The programme will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will focus on improving the skills and capacities of young cultural professionals while the second phase will focus on expanding opportunities through knowledge transfer and exchanges. These activities will be accomplished through the establishment of a regional Cultural Training Hub in Cuba that will be linked to relevant Caribbean institutions. The programme will foster entrepreneurship, socioeconomic projects, and collaboration in the cultural and creative sectors, heritage, and tourism throughout the Caribbean Region and within the EU.
Prospects from 17 CARICOM countries – Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Montserrat, Dominican Republic and Cuba – will be targeted for this programme.
Dr Francis O. Severin, Principal (Interim) of the Open Campus, is gratified by this development. According to him, “The Open Campus continues to demonstrate its Pan-Caribbean commitment and thrust, as well as its sensibility of inclusivity which this initiative so elegantly operationalizes.” “This is what I call authentic cultural activism,” he averred.
Ms Alessandra Borchi, Transcultura Programme Coordinator, UNESCO, stated: “We are pleased to partner with The University of the West Indies on this pioneering initiative. This is fully in line with Transcultura’s strategic objective to support the professionalization of the cultural and creative sectors in the region, while in parallel empowering youth.”
The programme will comprised of selected courses from the Open Campus Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) offerings such as modules in Small Business Management; Effective Management and Leadership; Project Management; Finance for Non-Finance Managers; Introduction to Small Business/Entrepreneurship; Effective Business Communication;
Financial Monitoring and Evaluation; Sales and Marketing Management; Brand Management; and Grant Proposal Writing which will be offered in both phases of the programme, with the first phase commencing September 2021 and the second phase in January 2022. The expected number of beneficiaries will be approximately 330. The programme will also include a Blended Teacher Training course which will expose 180 Cuban and Caribbean professors to a variety of learner experiences that incorporate the use of technology.
Ms Anneshia Welsh, Head, Business Development Unit and The UWI representative who led in conceptualizing this initiative said: “It is our pleasure to implement the Transcultura Programme in partnership with UNESCO. We hope that this programme will strengthen the relationship between Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean, therefore enhancing the process of regional integration.”
“The UWI Open Campus is proud to announce this collaboration with UNESCO which aligns seamlessly with The UWI’s Mission Statement, ‘to advance learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of the Caribbean and the wider world.’ The Transcultura Programme will bring together creative abilities which will lead to cross cultural fertilization for all those involved,” Ms Welsh added.
This programme is supported via scholarships and will be implemented over one year. It will be offered through the Open Campus blended learning modality using synchronous and asynchronous delivery.
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: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open 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 www.uwi.edu.