VICE-CHANCELLOR of The University of the West Indies Professor Sir Hilary Beckles says, instead of a decline in enrolment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entity is expecting an increase as individuals retool to cope in the new environment created by the infectious disease.
“There is a clear historic trend that in economic recessions, there is generally an increased demand for education… contrary to what people might believe… the scientific evidence does, in fact, show that the demands and the appetite for higher education actually increases in recessions.
People realise that in recessionary environments you have to make your children and your family more competitive.
“The university, in fact, far from being concerned that there is going to be a decline, is preparing for an increased demand for its services in the next year or two,” Professor Beckles told a virtual media briefing with members of the senior management team of The UWI yesterday.
He said, too, that theglobally ranked university, which is number one in the Caribbean, will “not collapse from awesome to awful” in the wake of the blow dealt to the region’s economy by COVID- 19, which has infected more than 4.4 million people worldwide and claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people.