Department of Government, Sociology & Social Work
Welcome Message from Department Head - Dr. Tennyson Joseph

Tennyson Joseph
On behalf of all the members of the Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology I am pleased to welcome you as our cohort of matriculating students for the academic year 2016/17.  Every year, in welcoming new students, we take special pride in reminding you that by agreeing to take the courses offered in our department, you have signaled your intention to embark on courses of study that will transform you into the critical thinkers that our societies so badly need.  Every year we greet you with the clich├ęd assurance that “these are exciting times”.

This year however, which coincidence with the fiftieth year of Barbadian Independence promises to be a specially momentous year.  The decision by the British people to opt out of the European Union (Brexit) and the economic, political and social reactions that it has unleashed, has meant that now, more than ever before, you are embarking on your academic careers in a moment when change is happening before your eyes.  A new world is emerging, and you are well placed to retool and prepare yourselves to take your places to provide leadership to a global society that has been overturned and is now in reformation mode.

It is not very often that such moments come in the lives of young adult learners, where they can learn theory in the classroom, observe global developments unfold with far reaching consequences, rethink old ideas and reshape new theories for greater applicability to the world which is emerging, and begin to map out clear practical steps for how to survive and thrive in that new world.  The end of the Second World War, the birth of Caribbean independence, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the retreat of communism and the end of apartheid in South Africa were just a few of such moments in our recent past, and the students who received training at our university during those moments, have become amongst the most successful and the most productive of our citizens.  We did not fail them, nor did we fail to study, analyse and to respond to the new realities which were unfolding.

Today, you take your place as a new cohort of Caribbean and global citizen, that is entering the UWI in another moment of tremendous change.  Take courage from the success of the generations that have gone before you.  Be assured, that the Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology, as it has done in previous moments, is well placed to guide, shepherd and nurture you, as you grow into the kinds of learned and productive citizens, that you, by your entry here, have resolved to become.  I, along with my colleagues, look forward to learning with you, from you and for you, and we invite you to embrace the opportunity and work with us. 

Above all, I invite you to “own” this place.  Never feel yourselves as outsiders, paid tenants or temporary wards.  Our department consists of students, staff and administrative personnel, but it is you, our students, who are the life blood and oxygen without which we would wither and die.  Grow, learn, play, be studious, but above all, be happy.  And to all our incoming Barbadian students we congratulate you on your jubilee year of Independence.

Make this place your home. Welcome home, matriculating class of 2016/17.
Tennyson S.D. Joseph
Head of Department


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Department of Government Sociology & Social Work
Telephone: (246) 417-4288/4293/4996 Fax: (246) 422-4425 E-mail: