Welcome Message

As the premier development studies research and graduate teaching institute in the Caribbean, the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) welcomes you to visit us or work with us in research, teaching and scholarship. We also invite you to join our learning community as a student in pursuit of a postgraduate degree.  On behalf of our academic and administrative, technical and service staff, I take great pride in seeing our students and faculty strive diligently for higher accomplishments and achieve success within and beyond the confines of the Institute’s activities and engagements.  For our students, we will do all we can to help you help yourself.  Together, we shall continue to forge and build on our vision to be “an internationally renowned institution for graduate education and research-based solutions in development.”

To be a part of SALISES, and to work under the eponymous name of W. Arthur Lewis, one of the region’s four Nobel Prize winners (the only one not in Literature), is an honour as much as it is also a definitive obligation to pursue and represent academic excellence.  As we work in the awareness of this commitment, it is my duty to constantly weigh the rights and responsibilities that apply to our work as scholars, as students, as learners and teachers, and as citizens of the region and the world, in order to ensure that the right conditions exist for all members of our community to achieve their full potential.  In that, my expectations are guided by the maxim – possibly misattributed to Aristotle – that “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Indeed, excellence is the constant practice and perpetual habituation of ethical, effective, and empathetic behaviours and attitudes.

Whether you are a new or a current student in one of our two courses of study (MSc in Development Studies, and MPhil/PhD, you are walking in the steps of SALISES graduates who have stepped up – as thought-leaders and change-makers – to the challenge of building Caribbean sustainable futures.  Following graduation, many of them have moved into leading positions in public service or private companies, where they have distinguished themselves in successful academic, professional and other careers.  Indeed, we measure our success not only in terms of the many scholarly publications, conference presentations, technical reports, and various pro-bono activities of our outstanding academic experts, but also and in particular in the achievements of the graduates of our study programmes.  Indeed, we take great pride in counting among our alumni Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness; the Deputy Principal of the UWI, Professor Ian Boxill; Dr Asha Kambon, our first PhD graduate, a former UN-ECLAC consultant and disaster risk management and gender equality expert; or Diane Quarles, Director of ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean, to mention only a few of a much longer list.

As we are constantly facing persistent and new challenges to development and sustainable futures in the Caribbean and other parts of the Global South, we at SALISES remain steadfast in our mission “to advance education and create knowledge through excellence in teaching, research, innovation, public service, intellectual leadership and outreach in order to support the inclusive (social, economic, political, cultural, environmental) development of the Caribbean region and beyond.”  I cordially invite you to join us in this ongoing and passionately pursued quest, either as a new student, as an academic expert or instructor, as a visiting expert or student-scholar, collaborating institution or organization, or as a contributor to or a user of our resources and expertise.  As a Chinese proverb puts it:  “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”

Holger Henke, PhD (UWI)

Former Director