Canada’s Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy announced Wednesday that her nation will assist young people in the Caribbean to gain greater access to post-secondary education through a distance learning partnership with the University of the West Indies.
Ablonczy, who is on a seven-day, seven-country tour in the Eastern Caribbean, made the announcement while in Antigua and on behalf of Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation. The government plans to contribute $19.6 million over five years (2013-2017).
“Helping the region’s young people develop the high-level skills needed to contribute to the work force is a key step,” Ablonczy said.
Said Fantino: “By integrating higher education into the Caribbean, Canada is enhancing the ability of Caribbean countries to address the economic and labor market challenges they face, ultimately helping to lift millions of people out of poverty.”
To help young people access post-secondary education, Canada will partner with the University of the West Indies, which serves 16 Caribbean countries and territories. Remote and under-served communities will now have access to up to 42 learning sites across the Caribbean through the new partnership.
The project will provide technical assistance for new program development and to help build the capacity of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus, which was started in 2008 in Barbados.