Media Releases

Brock U lines up with U of Trinidad & Tobago to bolster Canada-Caribbean collaborations

April 25, 2013
University Marketing & Communications

Brock U and U of TrinidadOTTAWA — With two prime ministers acting as witnesses, Brock University today signed an accord with the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) aimed at accelerating levels of collaboration between Canada and its Commonwealth partner in the Caribbean.

In a ceremony on Parliament Hill, Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper and Trinidadian Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding between both schools by Brock University President Jack Lightstone, and Curtis Manchoon, Chairman of the UTT Board of Governors.

The MoU creates a mechanism to pursue partnerships and exchange opportunities between the two universities, and could have impacts that go beyond their campuses.

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar said the pact will help cement the relations necessary to ensure the advancement of information and knowledge sharing.

“The potential for economic, cultural and social capital is limitless,” she said. “Education is the key to peace and I look forward with interest and excitement to the endless possibilities that this partnership promises. I am confident that this collaboration will further deepen and strengthen the ongoing relationship between our two nations.”

The MoU was crafted following a visit to Trinidad and Tobago last February by Lightstone and Brian McMullan, the mayor of St. Catharines, Ont., where Brock’s main campus is nestled on the Niagara Escarpment. The trip marked the 45th anniversary of the twinning of St. Catharines and the Trinidadian capital Port-of-Spain. It also enabled Lightstone to meet with UTT President Fazal Ali.

They discovered a mutual desire to create exchange opportunities in several disciplines, including areas where Brock has world-class teachers and researchers, such as plant biotechnology and green chemistry; public and community health; animation and digital media; and education and teacher training. Last fall Brock opened the $112-million Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, home of some of the most advanced facilities in central Canada. The iconic project received $38-million in funding from the federal government’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program.

The new relationship could also see Brock students going to Trinidad for various studies, including cultural, social and instructional advancement.

“The collaboration fits perfectly with Brock’s mission to help improve the social, intellectual and economic health of communities in Niagara, in Canada and beyond,” said Lightstone. “This pact is possible because of the vision and perseverance that led to the twinning of two cities nearly half a century ago. We hope today is the first step in an era of partnerships that advance not just two universities, but two countries.”

Manchoon said UTT is looking forward to “mutual growth and cooperation as a result of this strategic partnership.”

“We shall seek to promote international and intercultural understanding, relevant research, and valuable exchange between the two institutions for the benefit of our students, staff and by extension, our respective nations.”

A relationship between Brock University and Trinidad is not new. For two decades, Brock has welcomed and supported opportunities for eligible students from Trinidad and Tobago. Since 1993, six Trinidadian students have been awarded a four-year undergraduate scholarship at Brock. There are currently 12 Trinidadians at Brock studying in disciplines that include biomedical sciences, child and youth studies, and business administration.

Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines, called the MoU “a tribute to the work of Phil Atteck and others in in the St. Catharines Twinning Association. We anticipate this spirit will only continue to strengthen our communities.”

ATTACHED PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Trinidadian Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (standing); Curtis Manchoon, Chairman of the University of Trinidad and Tobago Board of Governors; Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper (standing); and Brock University President Jack Lightstone (seated) at today’s MoU signing.

Additional photography from today’s event will be available at:

For more info:

* Kevin Cavanagh, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5888;;

* Ms Aneis Mohammed, University of Trinidad and Tobago; 868-642-8888 x29188;;

BACKGROUNDER: Brock University’s history with Trinidad and Tobago

On 4 Oct. 1968, Mayor Mackenzie Chown of St. Catharines (one of the founders of Brock University) and Mayor Hamilton Holder of Port-of-Spain declared the mundialization of St. Catharines and the twinning of their two cities.

Since then, Brock has maintained a close interest in the twinning. In 1993, in honour of the 25th anniversary of the twinning, Brock awarded a four-year honours scholarship to a student from Trinidad, who would go on to earn an Honours Bachelor of Accounting degree.

In 2008, on the 40th anniversary of the twinning, Brock extended the four-year scholarship for eligible undergraduate students from Trinidad. The recipient for the 40th Anniversary Twinning Scholarship went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.

Since 1993, six Trinidadian students have been awarded a four-year undergraduate scholarship at Brock.

There are currently 12 Trinidadians at Brock studying in disciplines that include biomedical sciences, child and youth studies, and business administration.

When Brock officially opened its new International Centre in September 2010, it established the Philip Atteck International Services Office, in memory of the man who originated the twinning between St. Catharines and Port of Spain.

For additional interest on twinning:

And further background on Port-of-Spain:

Brock and Niagara College promote Niagara education in Trinidad and Tobago

March 31, 2010
University Marketing and Communications

A Brock University and Niagara College delegation visited Trinidad and Tobago this month to drum up interest in studying in Niagara and strengthen ties between the region and the Caribbean nation.

Kim Meade, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Student Services at Brock, and Sean Kennedy, Vice-President, Student and External Relations at Niagara College, met with politicians and prospective students during the four-day trip to Trinidad. During the week of March 14, they attended a Study in Niagara reception for students interested in attending Brock and Niagara College. It was also attended by the families of students, and by alumni who have studied in Niagara.

Meade and Kennedy also conducted media interviews, visited a Trinidad high school teaching Ontario curriculum and attended a reception for the Port of Spain Twinning Association. The country’s capital city, Port of Spain, is twinned with St. Catharines, Ont.

An annual Twinning Association scholarship provides an opportunity for one student per year from Trinidad and Tobago to attend Brock University. Two twinning scholarship students attend Brock now, with a third coming in September, said Meade.

“The key message for us (on the trip) was that Niagara is a safe, friendly and welcoming environment for students from Trinidad,” she said. “There’s a strong interest and commitment on behalf of both institutions to enhance our internationalization opportunities and increase international student enrolment.”

“The visit met a number of objectives for both Niagara College and Brock University,” said Kennedy. “It was a great demonstration of the effectiveness and additional impact of having Niagara’s two post-secondary institutions work in partnership to promote Niagara as a world-class destination in which to study, work and live.”

While on the trip, Meade and Kennedy met with Trinidad and Tobago President George Maxwell Richards, Port of Spain Mayor Murchison Brown and Karen L. McDonald, Canada High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago.

For more info: Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687;