The first task was to help to build an economy that was more resilient than the one inherited from the planters and landlords of the old mercantile system, he said.
“We have to build one that could compete with the eagles of the West and the tigers of the East,” Granger said yesterday.
Addressing the audience that included the UWI Chancellor Sir George Alleyne, Vice Chancellor Professor Hilary Beckles, and President of the Caribbean Court of Justice Sir Denis Byron at the Ceremonial Topping-Off and Deed Hand over of the UWI St Augustine South Campus, Penal- Debe, Granger said that higher education has to build more cohesive societies in the region.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar cut the ribbon to ceremonially declare open the spanking new $600 million campus, located on 150 acres of land, which will also include a new facility to house 450 students of the Hugh Wooding Law School.
Secondly, Granger said higher education must build societies in which people were educated to suppress their outdated social and class differences and prejudices.
“Our societies must eliminate inequalities and eradicate extreme poverty,” he said.
Thirdly, he said, UWI must build a more inclusive political system, whereby people can be empowered to participate fully in local and national democratic organs and in which they can feel confident in their elected officials and representatives.
He congratulated the UWI for moving forward with the initiative to build another campus and congratulate the Government of TT for their financial support and encouragement for the campus.
UWI St Augustine principal Professor Clement Sankat said the campus was willing to explore developing the graduate level skills in Guyana in areas such as oil, gas, petro-chemical engineering, food and agriculture engineering, leadership, business management and medicine among other areas.
The campus, he said, was also willing to look at the prospects for the re-entry of Guyana to the UWI fold “something I have been persistently championing over the years.” Guyana played a leadership role in the formative years of the UWI, even before the St Augustine campus came on board, he said, and “the course of history changed this.” Now was an opportune time, Sankat said, as a regional destiny was being forged for Guyana to reintegrate into the regional university to meet specific needs, adding graduate education in this regard comes to mind.