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Govt to spend $438M by 2013 to construct UWI South campus
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Shaliza Hassanali

Student Quaters
By the end of 2013, Government is expected to spend $438.2 million on construction of the University of the West Indies (UWI) South Penal/Debe campus. The confirmation came from Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training Fazal Karim on Friday. China Jiangsu International was awarded the contract with five local sub contractors assisting in construction of the campus on 73 hectares of land.

In 2011 and 2012, Government injected $150 million into the project. Another $288.2 million was allocated for spending between 2012 and 2013. At the end of 2014, another $71.2 million will be pumped into the project, bringing the total figure to $509.4 million. Approximately $6 million was allocated under the ministry鈥檚 2012 developmental programme for the implementation of the project.

Of the $509 million, Karim said, the construction of site offices, washrooms, change rooms and concessions will absorb the largest slice of the campus budget, $36.5 million.

Cost of external works:
鈥 Roads and car parks-$19 million
鈥 Fences and Gates-$1.2 million
鈥 Drainage (surface soil)- $972,000
鈥 Electrical kiosk, site supply and distribution- $5.1 million
鈥 Landscaping -$2.3 million

Work on Phase One, Karim said, will see the construction of five major buildings鈥攖he Law Faculty Building, Campus Library, Moot Court, Student Union Building and Academic Building, which are expected to be handed over to the Government in the first quarter of 2014.The project will also include a cricket pavilion, swimming pool, guard booths, playgrounds and hard courts to name a few.

The five buildings are expected to be delivered by the first quarter of 2014, with an intake of 1,000 students by September of that same year.

UWI South to help stem the brain drain
Karim said, 鈥淎s we speak, soil testing has been completed, while we have started the installation of piles. We had indicated to the contractors that we wanted a minimum of 40 per cent local content, and that we have maintained.鈥 The total workforce on the site, Karim said, comprises 30 Chinese and 50 locals.

The plan, Karim said, was to expand the faculty offering, since the population of the Penal/Debe region had grown from 83,000 in 2000 to 89, 000 in 2011. According to the Tertiary Education minister, there are 13 secondary schools within the Penal/Debe areas which can act as a feeder stock to the programmes offered by UWI.

鈥淭he intention is to also have programmes that are responsive to the location. And since you have quite a number of energy sector companies operating in the southern part of the country, some of the programmes will be responsive to the oil and gas, law, environmental management, and engineering sectors, while agriculture is something that we will also want to consider.

鈥淲e have been advised that over 300 businesses line the Debe to Penal route.鈥 Karim said in his last discussion with the campus project management team, they had indicated that work was progressing apace and satisfactorily. 鈥淲e are keeping a close eye to ensure that the project is done within time and budget.鈥

He said there was a conditionality for the project manager and client should they fail to hand over the campus in a timely manner. 鈥淲e are looking forward for the campus contributing to the tertiary sector in a significant way. It is all part of the ministry building the brains of the country.鈥 Karim said this new university would stem the country鈥檚 brain drain and outflow of foreign exchange for students who want to pursue law degrees outside of T&T.

For the period 2005 to 2011, Karim said, Government had disbursed $81.2 million to several students pursuing law degrees at law schools regionally and internally.


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UWI expands to Penal/Debe

By Anna Walcott-Hardy

鈥淎 University town鈥 that will be a key driver of prosperity is the vision Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar has for Debe. Describing herself as a 鈥渜uintessential UWI person,鈥 having been both student and lecturer at all three Main Campuses at Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad, she seemed pleased with the plans for expansion of access to tertiary education to the South. The Prime Minister was speaking at the ceremony for the dedication of lands and unveiling of a commemorative plaque for The University of the West Indies St. Augustine - South Campus Penal/Debe on a humid afternoon on Thursday 24 February at the Debe High School.

Bounded by Papourie Road on the East, San Fernando Erin Road on the West and the M2 Ring Road on the South, the Campus lands resemble a Hinkson watercolour, awash with warm greens, burnt umber and ochre. The rolling hills of the former Picton Estate 鈥 still planted with cane 鈥 recall a time when sugar was king. In fact, the Usine St Madeleine factory is located not too far from the site, and if you drive past the high school you are at the popular Debe 鈥渄oubles鈥 stretch, with the historically rich, Gandhi village, a few miles away.

In October 2010, Minister of Science Technology and Tertiary Education, Fazal Karim, put forward a Cabinet note on the allocation of lands for a south campus for The UWI, the proposal looked at a 100-acre parcel of land in the vicinity of Debe. On October 14, 2010 Cabinet agreed. An allocation of $TT2 million was included in the National Budget to support the development of the Campus.

Speaking at the Ceremony, before 1,000 guests, including the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Prof Maxwell Richards, The UWI St Augustine Campus Principal Professor Clement Sankat focused on development of UWI to the South of Trinidad as well as the expansion of offerings in Tobago. He underscored the benefits the new Campus extension would bring to the people of the 鈥淪outhland,鈥 explaining that empirical evidence had supported the need for expansion of the St. Augustine Campus.

Having experienced rapid growth in the past decade from approximately 7,000 students in 2000 to nearly 17,000 in this academic year, the institution has been strategizing on ways to maintain quality while expanding access. It is obvious that the University has been focused on development of electronic (e) learning, construction of new buildings, while maintaining a green campus. But limited capacity and resources have made it an undeniably immense challenge. There are long-standing issues including: parking, housing and traffic congestion in and around the Campus. It鈥檚 no surprise that the 50-year-old institution has strategically looked towards the obvious.

鈥淒espite the increasing competitive environment in which we are placed, statistics on applications for entry into UWI have also demonstrated a robust demand over the years and the St. Augustine Campus was only able to offer places to 70 per cent of its highly qualified applicants in 2010/2011,鈥 Pro Vice Chancellor Sankat explained.

鈥淚n a 2007 planning report on the findings of a national survey to measure public perceptions of The University of the West Indies n Trinidad and Tobago, at least 75 per cent of the persons surveyed agreed that The University of the West Indies should establish a Campus in Tobago. Further, 67 per cent believed that the UWI should establish a Campus in South Trinidad,鈥 he added.

But what do the people of the area really think about the new Campus? With 38 feeder schools in the counties of St Patrick, Victoria and the districts of Rio Claro and Mayaro, high-performing institutions with students and teachers that continue to look to UWI for higher education, interviews were easy to come by and the interviewees were politely frank with their answers.

Niala Seudatsingh, a 17-year-old student of Parvati Hindu College, is looking forward to the opening of the new Campus in 2013; she explained why: her mother spends about two hours in traffic every day to drive her sister to classes at UWI St Augustine.


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UWI Penal-Debe South Campus Signing Ceremony
04 August, 2012 12:47:00
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August 02, 2012:

On Thursday August 2nd, 2012, the contract to commence construction of the South Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine, in Penal-Debe, was signed at the Office of the Campus Principal.

The ceremony began at 10am, with UWI St. Augustine Campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat; Campus Bursar, Carla Dube; Senior Project Officer at the Campus Projects Office, Alfred Reid; and China Jiangsu International Economic Co-Operation Corporation (CJIE) sub-contractors, Jinpeng Zhang and Yonggao Pan, affixing their signatures to the contract.

Also present at the ceremony were Acuitas Caribbean Limited representatives, Director, Mr. Ian Marfleet; and Quality Manager, Ms. Stacy Nagessar. Mrs. Angela Argoon, Chief Executive Officer of the Penal-Debe Regional Corporation, was also in attendance.

The creation of a South Campus comes as part of UWI鈥檚 regional strategic plan to expand the University to better serve its communities. The establishment of the South Campus was approved by the Council of The UWI and will be implemented with the support of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.


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Cabinet approves 100 acres for UWI South Campus
By Sue-Ann Wayow South Bureau
Story Created: Jan 12, 2011 at 12:50 AM ECT
Story Updated: Jan 12, 2011 at 12:50 AM ECT
CABINET has approved the use of 100 acres of land for the University of the West Indies South Campus, Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education Fazal Karim said yesterday.
The approval was given a few weeks ago to use Caroni (1975) Ltd land north of the Debe High School.
Speaking with the Express after a tour of the Metal Industries Company Ltd at the Pleasantville Technology Centre yesterday, Karim said construction was expected to begin within the next six months.
"Commencing September 2011, plans are afoot to start the LLB programme in San Fernando at a venue yet to be determined until the completion of the campus in Debe."
Karim, who was accompanied by several board members of MIC, said the tour was "part of visiting agencies and institutions and to meet the staff and familiarise myself".
Karim said Cabinet also approved the establishment of a Workforce Development and Technology Centre at Petrotrin's compound at Clarke Road, Penal.
"Right now negotiations are taking place between the ministry and Petrotrin and MIC and NESC (National Energy Skills Centre) will be in charge."


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Chinese get $.5b contract to build Penal/Debe Campus
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Khamal Georges

Chinese construction firm, China Jiangsu International, has secured a half-a-billion dollar contract for the construction of the University of the West Indies (UWI) South Campus in Penal/Debe. After a year-long procurement exercise, the University of the West Indies approved the recommendation last week. The T&T Guardian has been reliably informed that at a Campus Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting last Friday, the company got the nod over three other companies for the project. The evaluation and negotiation committee ranked the Chinese firm well above the other firms with 1,000 points. Kier/Kee Chanona Joint Venture scored 648.77 points and UFPO West Indies Development both scored 648.23 points, while GLF Construction Corporation received 496 points. According to documents, obtained by the T&T Guardian, the finance committee recommended that 鈥渢he contract for design/build services for the UWI St Augustine Campus, Penal/Debe, be awarded to China Jiangsu International Economic - Technical Co-operation Corp. (CJI) in the sum of TT$499,513,631.81 CJI鈥檚 bid was also $270 million less than the nearest bid put forward by Kier/Kee Chanona Joint Venture of $769, 934, 445.50鈥

UFPO West Indies Development followed with $770,585,965.60
鈥淭he Campus Finance and General Purposes Committee is hereby requested to approve the award of a contract to China Jiangsu International Economic鈥擳echnical Co-operation Corporation,鈥 the document added. When contacted yesterday, UWI principal Professor Clement Sankat said the university had done a 鈥渢horough evaluation and a recommendation already has been approved in accordance with the proper process and systems in place.鈥 However, when questioned about the grant of the award to a Chinese firm, Sankar refused to comment, saying only that an 鈥渁nnouncement will be made soon.鈥 The award of the contract comes after a Cabinet note, dated March 13, confirming total funding for the project in the amount of $509,358,377. Some $144 million will be made available in the 2012 fiscal year, $288.2 million in 2013 and $71.2 million in 2014. President of the Contractors Association, Mervyn Chin, expressed concern about the 鈥渕argin鈥 between the Chinese firm鈥檚 bid and the nearest bidder, Kier/Kee Chanona Joint Venture. Chin said it raised serious questions. However, his main concern was 鈥渨hether local expertise will be included in the construction process.鈥 Former president of the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) for the construction sector, Winston Riley, expressed dismay at the development, saying the labour market 鈥減articularly in the construction sector, is suffering.鈥濃


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Karim reiterates that no contract handed out for South Campus of UWI

Senator Fazal Karim
Minister of Science Technology and Tertiary Education Fazal Karim reiterated on Friday that the University of the West Indies (UWI) has not awarded a contract to a Chinese firm to build the south campus of UWI in Debe.

UWI issued a statement earlier in the week denying media reports that the contract had been awarded to the Chinese firm Jiangsu International.

That led to criticism from several stakeholders in the construction sector as well as the leader of the Movement for Social Justice, David Abdulah.

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