World-class academic success celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago

Posted by ap507 at Apr 21, 2015 01:49 PM |
University of Leicester and SBCS host celebrations for graduating students and alumni

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 21 April 2015

Photo opportunity: 6 – 7 pm, Thursday 23 April, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain

A celebration of success at the highest level of international education is to be marked in Port of Spain, Trinidad on the afternoon of Saturday 25 April, coinciding with 50 years of Media and Communication degrees from the University of Leicester.

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) for the University of Leicester, Professor Martin Halliwell, will present Master’s degree certificates to 33 graduands of the University as part of SBCS’s graduation ceremony at 4pm on 25 April. The SBCS is a multi-campus training education and training institution founded in 1987 that aims to play a major role in transforming and advancing the lives of people from and living in the Caribbean.

In addition, the University of Leicester is holding a celebration for its alumni and graduands in Trinidad and Tobago, marking over a decade that the University has been providing degrees in the Caribbean in collaboration with SBCS. This networking event is at 6pm on Thursday 23 April in the Hyatt’s Lobby Lounge.

Professor Halliwell said: “It is a real pleasure to witness the success of a rapidly growing number of people from Trinidad and Tobago who are studying media and communication, and, in many cases, already have successful careers in the media industries.

“Our graduates in the Caribbean have joined an elite group with a Leicester Master’s degree. Over the last 50 years Media and Communication has been one of the University’s distinctive academic strengths and is now a burgeoning subject of study and training around the world.

“It is particularly exciting to be in the Caribbean during the West Indies versus England Test Series, and to hear one of Leicester’s alumni, and a proud son of Port of Spain, Ian Bishop, commentating on the cricket. Ian took the campus-based MA in Mass Communication at Leicester in 2004-5 and he has built a very successful career in broadcasting since his time playing for the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, and for my home county of Derbyshire.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience,” Ian Bishop commented following the Antigua Test Match. “It was satisfactory both from a personal and education wealth point of view, but also gave me greater insight and certification into my media career. The self-confidence gained from postgraduate study and life at the University was a period of personal growth that has proved invaluable. It’s an experience at Leicester which I highly recommend.” 

Professor Halliwell added: “A qualification from the University of Leicester is career changing. It can be the springboard to promotion, the platform from which to launch a new career or simply a way to become more effective in the workplace. 

“Leicester’s brand of Distance Learning is particularly important for Caribbean students: it provides a flexible mode of study which enables students to fit their chosen pathway around family and work commitments. It gives a clear signal to employers that students are committed to developing skills and knowledge, including creative thinking and strategic decision-making. The talent we foster and attributes students have gained through studying with us will stand our graduates in good stead throughout their chosen careers.”

The quality of the education is reflected in the testimonials of the students, including Caira Cudjoe who graduated in 2006 with an MA in Mass Communication. Caira, who is now Events Manager, Integrated Marketing Communications at Guardian Group, commented that “this programme placed me at a different stage in my career. It was a valuable experience with exceptional teaching, one that has encouraged me to persuade others considering getting into the field of media or public relations to enrol in such a reputable programme.”

One of last year’s graduates Camille Salandy gave an inspiring speech at the 2014 graduation ceremony. She remarked that “attaining my degree from Leicester was a rewarding experience, given the prestige of the degree itself and the efficiency with which it was administered. The course has given me a deeper understanding of theories that drive journalistic and communications practice and a strategic edge in appreciating the dynamics and power of well-executed communication.”

Camille is now Head of Sustainability and Corporate Communications at Atlantic LNG Company. She describes her role as one “which encompasses the full gamut of public relations practice, is well grounded by concepts encountered on my Masters course. This, I believe, can only help to enhance the field of practitioners working in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Dr Matthew Higgins, Director of Distance Learning for the University’s College of Social Science said: “In addition to strengths in Media and Communication, the University of Leicester offers a wider range of courses through distance learning to students all around the world, making us one of the largest providers of higher education distance learning courses in the UK with over 25 years of experience and expertise in the field.”

The University’s Registrar Dave Hall added: “Distance education is an important strand of the University of Leicester’s commitment to global engagement, which in the last few years has placed us in the world’s top 1% in the QS World University rankings. And this year the Times Higher has placed us in the world’s top 50 universities for international outlook, based on the diversity of our students and the emphasis we place on global research collaboration.”

Professor Halliwell also paid tribute to the Ministry of Education for their financial support for those studying for postgraduate qualifications in Trinidad and Tobago. He said the GATE scheme made an enormous contribution to the efforts of the Ministry, the SBCS, and the University of Leicester to widen access to higher education.

On his visit to the Caribbean Professor Halliwell is also visiting the University of the West Indies in Jamaica to develop research collaborations with colleagues in the humanities and social sciences. This follows President Obama’s historic visit to UWI last week, during which he addressed students on new global opportunities for young leaders in the region.

For further information about Distance Learning and degrees in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, click the following links: or



For more information and interviews with Professor Halliwell, please contact or via the Hyatt Regency, 1 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain – from Wednesday 22 April

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