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UWI helps region’s software engineers

Sunday, July 22, 2018
Administrators from the Global Institute of Software Technology (GIST with UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, fourth from right, and administrators and students of The UWI China Institute of Information Technology (UWICIIT) BSc Soft Engineering programme in Mona, Jamaica. Principal of GIST, Dr Xiulan Zhu is seated fifth from right and the director of international programme Lu Ning is seated fourth from left.

Students from The University of the West Indies (UWI) are expected to leave for China this September to continue their studies in software engineering with a focus on mobile application technologies for both Android and iOS, thanks to a specialised four-year degree programme being offered by UWI and its strategic partner, the Global Institute of Software Technology (GIST).

Together, in 2016, UWI and GIST formed the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, and enrolled its first cohort of students in a new, unique bachelor’s degree programme to lay the foundation for a much needed digital revolution in the region and equip Caribbean youths in the field of software engineering.

The degree is structured as a 2+2 programme, where students spend two years at one of the two UWI campuses at which it is currently offered (Cave Hill, Barbados and Mona, Jamaica) then continue for another two years in Suzhou, China.

Studying in Suzhou will expose students to the languages and rich heritage of the Asian continent and allow them to be immersed in China’s creative entrepreneurial culture. This immersion, one of the key features of the programme, provides a significant competitive advantage and the opportunity at a lucrative career in this burgeoning industry. The Chinese courses will be taught entirely in English by Chinese teachers.

Students will also study Mandarin to Hàny- Shu-píng K-oshì (HSK) proficiency standard.

They will be trained in core software engineering, research methods and technical writing, and gain valuable work experience through paid six-month internships at Fortune 500 companies in the Suzhou Industrial Park—considered the Silicon Valley of China.

Recently, principal of the GIST, Dr Xiulan Zhu, and director of International Programmes, Lu Ning visited the UWI Cave Hill and Mona campuses, to meet with the students, parents, as well as university administrators.

The two arrived in Jamaica on May 10, then in Barbados on May 12, and participated in a series of meetings to help students prepare for the transition and discuss other administrative matters related to the joint degree programme.

This BSc Software Engineering programme is open to persons across the region and the diaspora with an interest in a technology driven career path.

Applications are now open for the 2018/19 academic year. Interested students and parents can learn more at



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