Objective of the session
To understand how universities can achieve greater alignment with the private sector, enable
increased employment of graduates and greater uptake of knowledge resources to better drive
economic growth in the region.
Key messages to the participants
Establishing better linkages with the private sector and governments will allow tertiary education
institutions to be more proactive role in knowledge development, innovation, and
commercialization of that knowledge.
UWI has a large pool of researchers and expertise in the Caribbean and leads the way in
knowledge generation, but appropriate structures are required to broaden its impact such as
funding dedicated to research and development, effective mechanisms to channel funds, and
national innovation systems.
To ensure university students develop skills that will make them more competitive and
employable once they graduate, universities should establish internship programs, encourage
executives to take sabbaticals in universities and create advisory boards with representatives with
Key take-aways from the participants’ interaction
Social media is a business need in the Caribbean and this is an untapped potential for the region.
Companies are increasingly interested in hiring recent graduates who can manage social media
campaigns for them.
Tertiary education institutions need to make better use of its alumni network in order to offer
internships to students to help them be employed at levels commensurate with their degrees or in
the field linked to their discipline. Not many students who start their own business come back as
UWI lecturers but this would be a way to encourage stronger ties between the current student
body and the private sector.
In order to ensure that vocational programs are effective with certification levels that go beyond
the basics, teachers need to be trained at a higher technical level.