The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is pleased to welcome students from the Caribbean Islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Thirty-seven students arrived in Wales at the end of January to study a range of programmes identified by their government as being beneficial to the future development of their country. These include History, International Development and Global Politics as well as Early Childhood Education, Quantity Surveying and Civil Engineering.
The students have received scholarships from the University and the SVG government to study in Wales and will be based at the University’s Lampeter campus for the next three years.
The scholarship scheme was launched by Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD and Mr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of SVG as a result of discussions with HRH The Prince of Wales, the University’s Royal Patron, following the Volcano eruption on St Vincent in April 2021.
The Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD, Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the students from St Vincent and the Grenadines to study at the University. They have settled in well to campus life here in Wales and are valued members of our community. The University was pleased to work with Mr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, to offer opportunities for students to study programmes that will help build capacity and infrastructure in the islands following the volcano eruption in 2021”.
Since arriving at the Lampeter, the students have felt very welcomed by their fellow students and staff members, as well as from the town’s population also. They have also taken part in a special edition of the BBC’s Songs of Praise broadcast on 27 February to celebrate the University’s bicentenary.
29 year old International Development and Global Politics Student Violet Peters came to Lampeter so that she can better her life. She grew up in a town called Calliaqua where she spent time educating children, going to the beach, reading, and eating fish. At home she was involved with the CADETS where she gained the leadership rank of Warrant Officer, The Police Youth Club, Performing Arts Society during College. Although Violet grew up poor, she always strives to do better. She is the only member of her family who has had the opportunity to come to university.
She said: “My first impression of the University was that it was this warm welcoming environment where I could learn. There are lots of spaces where you could go to do your studies and have quiet spaces where you could learn.”
“It is my hope that I can further my studies and make a living for myself with the degree earned. I also hope to build my career and better my life situation because my mom is an amputee, and she needs a prosthetic limb. When I think about how I am not able to afford her this prosthetic it motivates me to earn my degree so that I can better my life situation with the potential of a better job which would enable me to not only get the prosthetic but support myself as well. I was the only full-time employed member of our household of seven including two remedial children therefore, having to move to the UK was a hard decision… I have started this journey and I pray it takes me to great places. I hope to become one day the Governor-General or even Prime Minister of my country.”
Shalom Joseph previously worked as a freelance photographer and studied Cyber Security at his community college in St Vincent. He was offered a scholarship to study Civil Engineering at UWTSD, and due to the devastating effects on building from the volcano back home, he saw this as a perfect opportunity to capitalise on his interest in design. So far Shalom thinks that: “The University is amazing, and the lecturers are so helpful, and they give insightful feedback, and they are very welcoming as well. They continue to motivate you to work hard and to pursue your dreams.”
20 year old musician Ancar Gordon had travelled across St Vincent performing at various events before she decided to come and study English & History at Lampeter. She noted: “What I like about the University is that everything is available to you, whether it’s online or on campus.”
Before moving to Lampeter, 36 year old Javorne Campbell was employed by the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines as a Prison Officer for almost 5 years. Her life at home was busy as she was also raising her eight year old son. She saw the opportunity to study International Development and Global Politics at Lampeter as a way to further her studies to help herself advance in life.
All students are looking forward in three years’ time to return to St Vincent and the Grenadines with the valuable skillset that they have gained and learned from UWTSD.
Javorne also said: “By taking my skillset back to St Vincent, I hope I will be able to assist in getting programmes up and running in terms of helping in dealing with the politics of the country, and developing the country on the whole, and hopefully get some useful network links here to take back to St Vincent, so that when I’m back home, and I need assistance in any way, I can reach out to persons that I would have networked with here and gain such assistance.”
Shalom added: “I hope to gain in the international experience – working along with persons who are outside of my home, and I believe that would enable me to develop my mindset to create a much open mind, and be able to take that back to my home, and rebuild certain things that needs rebuilding, as well as improve the structural integrity of certain buildings.”