Professor Stefan Gift, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research at the UWI.
Business Monday: UWI to focus on entrepreneurs
THE University of the West Indies is pushing an entrepreneurial thrust.
The institution intends to prepare its students to not only seek out employment after graduating, but also create jobs by establishing businesses of their own.
So says Professor Stefan Gift, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research at the UWI. He spoke at a recent UWI-Private Sector Consultation, at which entrepreneurial development was a recurring theme.
Professor Gift said that the UWI continues to do some very good research, undertake good teaching, and put out thousands of graduates over the years.
However, he said they at the UWI recognised the need to become more entrepreneurial since that is the way of the world as many accredited universities have sought to harness the talent at their disposal and within their ranks.
He pointed out that the way forward therefore is to engage in more innovative activities so that “we may realise intellectual properties and commercialise some of the research we are generating”.
The Professor recalled that the UWI in its 2017-2022 Strategic Plan has determined that it wants to focus on this area, in addition to the others of course.
“I have been asked to take responsibility for spreading the word, moving the organisation such that we develop a one UWI Entrepreneurial Eco system right across the University,” Professor Gift explained.
He further noted that by so doing the UWI will “give graduates who come out looking for jobs the option of creating jobs.”
“So we want to create an environment where our staff and students are encouraged to innovate and to discover and to move that innovation into the marketplace,” said the Professor.
“Now that is the conversation that has started all across the University and the Vice Chancellor also felt that we should invite our industry partners to come and tell us some of what they are doing and to feed into the conversation your own ideas and what you think the university should be doing and the kinds of course we should be offering,” he remarked.