initiatives of UTT
University of T&T (UTT) is about to formally launch its
academic programme for 2005/2006. It is therefore an opportune
time to review what distinguishes this centre of learning
from other universities.
The UTT has embarked on a number of important initiatives
for 2005. This is in keeping with its intent of being
an entrepreneurial university designed to discover and develop
entrepreneurs, commercialise research and development, and
spawn companies for wealth generation and sustainable job
creation towards the equitable enhancement of the quality
of life of all individuals, families and communities of Trinidad
and Tobago, and the Caribbean.
The results of these actions will establish the foundation
for growth that will allow UTT to support the development
of the country and region for many years to come.
The UTT is utilising the model of an integrated partnership
among government, the private sector and the national community.
It is planned that this partnership will be significantly
enhanced during this year through continuing dialogue, and
the establishment of clear plans for the involvement and contribution
of all stakeholders.
These will include specific interventions by the private sector
partners in such activities as the establishment of centres
of research, staff development, curriculum development for
new programmes, and providing specialised expertise as required
for specific projects.
UTT plans to focus on programmes of teaching and research
that are industry-oriented rather than discipline-oriented.
This is a major departure from traditional university structures,
and as a result the available pool of resources will provide
greater flexibility to support a wide range of programmes.
In addition, UTT will be reaching out to students beyond the
traditional targets for entry, by providing bridging and transition
programmes to facilitate students to achieve the desired standards
of academic qualification.
In striving for and maintaining high standards of academic
excellence, UTT will be responsive to the changing needs of
the society in T&T and the region.
Fundamental to the pursuit of excellence and producing graduates
who are well recognised around the world, UTT has already
established a number of partnerships with highly recognised
institutions such as:
University of Texas at Austin (petroleum and energy programmes),
Cambridge University (manufacturing), TATA Infotech (information
technology), Southampton Institute (maritime), Southern Alberta
Institute of Technology (diploma and applied programmes),
Institute of Graduate Studies in Energy (ISE), Spain (graduate
programmes), University of Houston (applied engineering),
These alliances will provide a jump-start for
UTT and bring levels of quality and accreditation that would
normally require many years to achieve. They also provide
models of excellence and standards of performance to which
UTT already aspires.
Major initiatives during 2005 will include the design of the
main UTT campus to be constructed at the new Wallerfield Technology
Park. UTT will be a very significant entity in this industrial
estate, and is expected to interact closely with all other
tenants, providing expertise, facilitating research, and spawning
new companies from its own developmental activity.
The establishment of this campus is a major undertaking for
the country, and it is expected that architectural and engineering
designs will be substantially completed during 2005 to allow
construction to be finished in time for commencement of teaching
activity in September 2007.
While this activity is taking place, designs are already completed
for an interim administration and teaching campus, located
at OMeara Estate, along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway.
This new facility, located on a 30-acre site, will be completed
in time for classes in September 2005, and will serve as an
interim campus until the main complex at Wallerfield is ready.
The OMeara campus will subsequently be used for a Technical
Institute and Skills Training Centre to service the highly
populated north-east region of Trinidad. New UTT programmes
in manufacturing, information technology and energy are to
be offered at OMeara.
Similarly, the design of a new UTT maritime campus to be located
at Chaguaramas is well in progress, for completion of this
facility this year.
Renovations to the ground floor of the Chaguaramas Convention
Centre are underway. This will serve as a temporary facility
allowing some maritime training to take place, particularly
for seminars and short courses, while the new campus is being
The UTT maritime campus will provide training to diploma and
degree levels to seafaring personnel as mandated by the International
Maritime Organisation (IMO). This is an international legal
requirement for all personnel who work aboard ships, including
sailors, officers, captains and engineers.
T&T has been deficient in this area for many years, and
has not capitalised on the opportunities available for employment
on our own vessels as well as those of the international merchant
UTT is hoping to fill this void by providing internationally
recognised training, in partnership with Southampton Institute/Warsash
Maritime Centre of the UK .
These are some of the priority projects of the UTT currently
in progress. There are several other parallel initiatives
that will provide the necessary infrastructure and create
the excitement of building a new world class institution that
will be accessible to our entire population and play a key
role in the transformation of our economy and society.
You will read more about these initiatives in future columns.
truth...eh Gillian, Fuad
Errol S Pilgrim
Mr Panday could not have dealt the PNM a better hand of political
cards; better even than if Mr Manning had himself stacked
the cards in his partys favour. For it would seem that
the wily old fox has finally outfoxed himself by falling prey
to an inherent weakness that involves opening his mouth precipitately.
has its own morality has indeed become a phrase whose
dire implications the ruling party, already in election mode,
will no doubt not allow Mr Panday and the country to forget
right up to 2006 and what may well turn out to be the tamest
elections ever this side of the Third World.
The relative mildness of the 2006 polls is assured if the
fracture in the UNC is not healed. And the indications are
that this latest rupture could cause Mr Panday a serious headache,
so far just fractionally less severe than the one the quarrel
with Messrs Maharaj, Sudama and Maraj engendered and which
culminated in the UNC losing a significant election.
Mr Pandays malodorous mouthing-off of his Johnny-come-lately
political underling, Gillian Lucky, becomes even more offensively
revealing for the mere reason that the words were not meant
for public consumption. They were not supposed to be heard
beyond the closed doors of the Rienzi Complex.
They were directed at the party ultra-faithful in caucus who
were expected to exercise their usual tolerance and restraint
to the accustomed rantings of their ageing but seemingly indomitable
But the truth is out and the country can now make better sense
of Mr Pandays modus operandi in and out of office. Politics
has its own morality is like saying the end justifies
the means. Political power is the objective and how you get
there is not what matters, even if it means sleeping
with the devil.
Even if it means making a mountain out of a mere molehill
of a parliamentary teacup brawl and tying up the already tied-up
courts in nonsense litigation.
In law it is called public mischief, but in this
country that means nothing to parliamentarians who have always
been thought to be above the law.
has its own morality is like saying it is okay to steal
and lie and commit all manner of sin so long as youre
not caught and so long as the quest for political power is
has its own morality means all is fair in politics.
It means pursuing a programme of water for all cannot be morally
compromised by any facilitating activity, no matter how corrupt,
so long as the laudable goal is held before a thirsty and
consequently gullible public.
It means bypassing tenders procedures and making hash of established
rules and regulations. It means naked duplicity, moving from
a political position that was in the countrys interest
while in office but has suddenly become bad for the country
out of office. It means giving ones word behind closed
doors but disavowing that word in an open forum.
has its own morality envisages its adherents eschewing
integrity wherever it appears to compromise the objective
of political power, which is the reason why Mr Pandays
acknowledgement of the feeding frenzy that attended
the scandal-ridden Piarco Airport Terminal project did not
precipitate any corrective action by him.
So the conclusion to be drawn from his headline-snatching
utterance is that Mr Panday was merely being honest with himself.
The same cannot be said for Ms Lucky. In fact, her decision
to opt for an oxymoron she calls an independent UNC
suggests that while purporting to stand for a nobler something
she, too, believes that politics has its own morality.
In her case, its a morality that says you can have your
cake and eat it.
The fact is the personal integrity, in support of which Ms
Lucky claims to have taken issue with Mr Pandays position,
would have dictated that she make a clean breast of things.
Resign from party and Parliament and take your chances in
a by-election. Show the Rupert Griffiths and the Carson Charleses
that youre made of sterner stuff than they. That you
possess the testicular fortitude they lacked. Not have one
foot in and one foot out.
So Ms Luckys integrity requires closer scrutiny.
Were it the integrity that gives birth to noble actions it
would have reminded her that it was as a candidate for the
UNC and not something called independent UNC that
the Pointe-a-Pierre electors decided to put her in office.
And she would have walked.
But as her antics indicate, she, too, has become an irredeemable
addict of Mr Pandays politics of expediency within which
is concealed the morality he talks about that is indigenous
only to politics. And it is exactly that political morality
that tells Ms Lucky it is okay to continue to enjoy the perks,
power and privileges of a parliamentary position that caters
to no other incarnation but that of UNC representative for
It is a position that does notor is not supposed torecognise
something called independent UNC representative for Pointe-a-Pierre.
The same can be said about her comrade-in-arms from San Juan,
Fuad Khan, a good doctor but a confused and confusing politician.
His action and that of the lady Lucky can best be described
in local parlance as a big mamaguy, though their actions do
indeed speak volumes for the verity of Mr Pandays adopted
dictum where he and they are concerned: politics does indeed
have its own morality.
But having said all that, this latest fissure in the UNCs
armament bespeaks a ferment that has long been eating away
at this countrys politics from which nobody, be they
PNM-or UNC-oriented, can take comfort.