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Saudi Arabia to fund $80m Caribbean university expansion project

January 19, 2023 at 4:05 pm

A Saudi Arabian flag. [OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images]

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has signed an agreement yesterday to finance the expansion of the University of the West Indies at Five Islands (UWI) in the Caribbean country Antigua and Barbuda.

The $80 million loan agreement was signed by the SFD’s CEO, Sultan Al-Marshad and Antiguan Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, and aims to expand the Five Islands campus and develop the country’s higher education sector.

According to Arab News, the University’s capacity will increase from 600 to 5,000 students a year with the construction of seven energy-efficient buildings. The project will also cater to neighbouring Caribbean countries. Marshad said that the Fund wanted to expand its operations in the region.

“Signing the agreement is in light of the Fund’s awareness that good education is a noble message, human requirement and part of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Browne, for his part, noted that the loan agreement will go beyond building a knowledge economy, reported the Caribbean National Weekly: “It represents a form of economic diversification in which we will be exporting educational services to the Caribbean and the rest of the world.”

“Our expectation is that the University of Five Islands will concentrate primarily on modern subjects, modern areas of training to develop skills that are required for the 21st century,” he added.

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