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UWI students encouraged to be critical thinkers

By Rachael Espinet Sunday, August 31 2014

click on pic to zoom in
A cross-section of new University of the West Indies, St Augustine students, attending Friday's orientation ceremony. ...
A cross-section of new University of the West Indies, St Augustine students, attending Friday's orientation ceremony. ...

What kind of life are you creating, for yourself and for others? This was the question asked to the new students of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Friday at their orientation at the St Augustine Campus.

On Tuesday thousands of students will be entering UWI for the first time. The theme for the orientation was “Get involved to evolve,” and Professor Rhoda Reddock, Deputy Principal of St Augustine Campus told the UWI “freshers” to become involved in both campus life and in the society.

“You have the power to change yourself and your world, but in order to do so you have to challenge yourself to get involved. This by no means implies joining or following the crowd.

“Instead, I want to encourage you to be curious, conscious and critical of the world around you, and the campus will now be your home whether you live on campus or not for the rest of your years,” Reddock said.

During their time at UWI Reddock encouraged the students to look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so that they could continually push themselves to make a difference.

“Today our society, our region and indeed the world is in need of your assistance. I hope some of you look at the news and if you do, you would agree that we are living in difficult times in the world, the region and your country is looking to you to bring the transformation and empowerment that is needed,” she said.

Reddock said while the region has progressed in many areas, there are still fields that need to be developed. These fields include social work, health, media and communication, education and criminal justice. She hopes the UWI students will help advance these fields.

“We need you to do your best so that all of us can do better. This is your chance to have a vision for the place where you live and to take, while you’re here at UWI a major step towards making it a place you want to be,” Reddock said. Reddock said success is more than simply acquiring a “valuable piece of paper,” but to become a well-rounded student.

“We have identified a number of key attributes that we seek to develop in all of our graduates. We want our graduates to be critical and creative thinkers, effective communicators with good interpersonal skills, IT (Information Technology) skilled and information literate. Innovative and entrepreneurial; globally aware and well-grounded in the regional identity. Socially culturally and environmentally responsible and guided by strong ethical values,” Reddock said.

UWI currently offers numerous academic programmes ranging from sports management, modern languages and linguistics, gender studies, computer science, to visual arts and dance. Numerous co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities are also offered to students. Reddock encouraged all the students to take full advantage of all the activities on the campus.



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