UWTSD students mark St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Independence Day


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) was pleased to join students from St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in marking the islands Independent Day at its the Lampeter campus on Thursday, 27 October. 

Students from St Vincent and the Grenadines with Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister at UWTSD

The students are studying a range of programmes identified by their government as being beneficial to the future development of their country. The programmes 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 are based at the University’s Lampeter campus. The scholarship scheme was launched by Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD and Hon. Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of SVG following discussions with His Majesty the King (as HRH The Prince of Wales, the University’s Royal Patron), following the volcano eruption on St Vincent in April 2021.

In addition, the University has developed research links with Dr Adrian Fraser, an eminent historian in SVG into Thomas Phillips, one of the benefactors of St David’s College and his Camden Park Estate.  Dr Fraser’s research is also being produced as a film by Vincentian filmmaker, Akley Olton.

The Independence Day celebrations include a workshop and a preview of the film by Akley Olton followed by a Question-and-Answer session. A meal and musical entertainment hosted by the students follow in the evening.

Andy Bevan, Lecturer in International Development at UWTSD Lampeter, said: “In the run-up to UWTSD’s Bicentenary celebrations this year, it’s been important to explain truthfully that one of the College’s early benefactors, Thomas Phillips, owned a slave plantation on St Vincent. So, in November 2020, I contacted Vincentian historian, Dr Adrian Fraser, who agreed to help by doing some local research into modern-day legacies of Phillips’ Camden Park plantation.

“With funding from UWTSD, we’ve also been working with the young Vincentian film-maker, Akley Olton – who has already interviewed Adrian Fraser. I’m delighted to say that Akley has been with us in Lampeter from the 22 to the 28 October to do some filming here too – and we’ll be previewing the first of his two films, on Thursday, 27 October in Lampeter’s Cliff Tucker Theatre.

“It was always part of the plan to make sure that Vincentian voices will be heard in Wales in 2022 – and Akley’s visit is a big part of that!”

Since the students arrived in Wales last year, they have been welcomed by their fellow students and staff members, as well as from the town’s population. 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.

In addition, the University was pleased to welcome Dr Ralph Gonsalves to Wales to receive an Honorary Doctorate at the Lampeter campus.

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor said: “I was very pleased to welcome Dr Gonsalves to the University to receive an Honorary Doctorate. He is a visionary leader and a strong voice for his country on a world stage.  I’m delighted that our partnership with St Vincent and the Grenadines has developed over the past two years and has enabled students from the islands to study programmes that will build capacity and infrastructure following the devastating effects of the volcano eruption in 2021. The University looks forward to future collaboration”.