Sunday 31 May, 2020

UWI comfortable with how it prepares its students - McBean

Dr David McBean

Dr David McBean

Executive Director of Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM), Dr David McBean, has fired back at critics of the University of the West Indies (UWI) who have taken the educational institution's method of teaching to task.

McBean was in a militant mood as he addressed the audience at the faculty's inaugural NCB Capital Markets-sponsored MSBM Student Investment Challenge at the Faculty of Medical Science last Tuesday, during which he said the UWI will continue its method of training students for the workforce.

According to McBean, UWI is preparing thinkers who will be able to apply the knowledge learnt at the institution to find solutions to various work-related issues. He said the UWI will not be able to train workers for all the different disciplines of the work environment that currently exist, which is the reason for focusing on training thinkers.

The 71-year-old UWI has been criticised in the past for being too theory-focussed, while not providing students with the practical knowledge of their respective disciplines of study.

"What we do at this university is that we prepare people who can think and adapt to different situations, and enlightened employers realise that they have to do some training because we can't train students to work in every industry and to be ready to master employment of a particular nature,” said McBean.

"But what we produce are students who get a wide body of knowledge, and they are exposed to the work environment through field projects and placements etcetera, so that whatever situations they find themselves into, they can think. That's what UWI does, and we don't apologise for it," McBean elaborated.

Using his experience as an example, McBean said despite being trained as an electrical and computer engineer at UWI, he has been able to head MSBM, which is unrelated to his field of study.

McBean said, "this is because I was always challenged to think, to solve problems, and to design solutions. With a lot of debate that's going on about how we prepare persons, we don't apologise.

"Ten years ago there was nothing called social media marketing, but we are confident that the way we would have trained our marketing graduates 10 years ago, they can think and adapt to this world, and 10 years hence, whatever the new industry is, they can similarly think and adapt.

"That's why we make no apologies for not trying to produce a conveyor belt of technicians only, who can only function in one narrow specific area," he stated.

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