University of the West Indies
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University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies
Coat of arms of the University of the West Indies.png
MottoOriens Ex Occidente Lux (Latin)
Motto in English
A Light Rising From The West
TypeRegional university, Public, Autonomous
ChancellorMr. Robert Bermudez
Sir Hilary Beckles
Academic staff
Students36,000 (across 4 campuses)[]
CampusMona, Jamaica
Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Cave Hill, Barbados
Open Campus
AffiliationsAssociation of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)
Caribbean Community
MascotThe Pelican
UWI Cave Hill
UWI St. Augustine
UWI Mona
UWI Open Campus
St Augustine UWI Campus
Continuing Promise 2015 150512-A-OM702-004.jpg

The University of the West Indies (UWI), originally University College of the West Indies,[1] is a public university system established to serve the higher education needs of the residents of 18 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands. Each country is either a member of the Commonwealth of Nations or a British Overseas Territory. The aim of the university is to help "unlock the potential for economic and cultural growth" in the West Indies, thus allowing improved regional autonomy.[2] The University was originally instituted as an independent external college of the University of London.[3]

The University has produced students who have excelled in a number of disciplines such as the arts and sciences, business, politics, and sports. Notable alumni and faculty include three UWI (Mona) Nobel Laureates, 72 Rhodes Scholars, 3 Gates Cambridge Scholarship winners, 18 current or former Caribbean Heads of Government, and an Olympic medallist. The university's cricket team previously participated in West Indian domestic cricket, but now participates as part of a Combined Campuses and Colleges team.


Main Library, Mona Campus, Jamaica

The university was founded in 1948, on the recommendation of the Asquith Commission[4] through its sub-committee on the West Indies chaired by Sir James Irvine.[5] The Asquith Commission had been established in 1943 to review the provision of higher education in the British colonies. Initially in a special relationship with the University of London, the then University College of the West Indies (UCWI) was seated at Mona, about five miles from Kingston, Jamaica. The university was based at the Gibraltar Camp used by evacuated Gibraltarians during the war.[6][7]

Seeking to address a need for medical care the first faculty established was a medical school.[8] The foundation stone for a hospital was added in 1949 and the University College Hospital of the West Indies opened in 1953. On January 18, 1953, Sir Winston Churchill visited the hospital on January 18, 1953 and unveiled a plaque in recognition of the contribution made by the government of the United Kingdom to the hospital.[8] The hospital was renamed the University Hospital of the West Indies in 1967 when the University gained full university status.[8] The hospital offers patient care, the hospital also facilitates research and teaching along with the Medical Services department of the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies.[9]

The University College achieved independent university status in 1962. The St Augustine Campus in Trinidad, formerly the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA), was established in 1960, followed by the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados in 1963. Before the establishment of the Open Campus, University Centres, headed by a Resident Tutor, were established in each of the other thirteen contributing territories.

In 1950, HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, the last surviving granddaughter of Queen Victoria, became the first Chancellor of the University College of the West Indies.

Sir William Arthur Lewis was the first Vice-Chancellor under the UWI's independent Charter. A native of St Lucia, he served as the first West Indian Principal of the UCWI from 1958 to 1960 and as Vice-Chancellor from 1960 to 1963. He was succeeded by Sir Philip Sherlock (a Jamaican and one of the UWI's founding fathers) who served as Vice-Chancellor from 1963 to 1969. Sir Roy Marshall, a Barbadian, was the next Vice-Chancellor, serving from 1969 to 1974. He was succeeded by Dr Aston Zachariah Preston, a Jamaican, who died in office on 24 June 1986, having served from 1974. The fifth Vice-Chancellor was Sir Alister McIntyre, who served from 1988 to 1998, followed by alumnus and Professor Emeritus Rex Nettleford who served from 1998 to 2004. The current Vice-Chancellor is Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who succeeded Professor E. Nigel Harris in May 2015.

The University of the West Indies Museum catalogs and exhibits some of the university's history.


The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, and an Open Campus serving 17 Caribbean island-nations. The Open Campus is an amalgamation of the University's previous Office of the Board for Non-Campus Countries & Distance Education (BNNCDE), the School of Continuing Studies (SCS), the UWI Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC), and the Tertiary Level Institutions Unit (TLIU).[10] There are satellite campuses in Mount Hope, Trinidad and Tobago, and Montego Bay, Jamaica, and a Centre for Hotel and Tourism Management in Nassau, Bahamas. The other contributing countries are served by the Open Campus.[11]

Cave Hill Campus Mona Campus St. Augustine Campus
Humanities & Education Humanities & Education Humanities & Education
Law Law Law
Medical Sciences Medical Sciences Medical Sciences
Science & Technology Science & Technology Science & Technology
Social Sciences Social Sciences Social Sciences
Sport Engineering Engineering
Sport Food & Agriculture


Various islands have proposed adding further campuses to the UWI system this includes Hope, Grenada[12][13] and Five Islands, Antigua and Barbuda[14][15]

Open Campus

The Open Campus has a physical presence and heads of sites in each of 17 countries. There are international programmes and partnerships for universities in the USA, Canada, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil and Mexico such as the University of Toronto, McGill University, Osaka Gakuin University, China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai University, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Emory University, University of Massachusetts, the University of Guelph, Yale University, King's College London, St Andrews University, Northeastern University, Stockholm University, University of California, Sophia University, University of Illinois, Saïd Business School,Universidad de Quintana Roo and more recently, the University of Johannesburg, the University of Lagos, the State University of New York and the Global Institute of Software Technology.


Launched in 2017, the UWI Faculty of Sport integrates teaching and research, professional development, community partnerships, and co- and extra-curricular student sport through three main units: Professional Programmes, Outreach & Projects Unit, Co-curricular & Intramural-Activity Unit and the Academic Programme & Activity Unit. The faculty is made up of four Academies of Sport: Cave Hill Academy of Sport, Open Campus Academy of Sport, Mona Academy of Sport and St Augustine Academy of Sport. For more information visit

Chancellors of the University

Vice-chancellors of the University


Notable faculty and administrators

Notable alumni

Sir Derek Walcott studied at the University of the West Indies

UWI graduates who are, or have been, heads of government:

Graduates in other fields:

See also


  1. ^ "History of the UHWI - University Hospital of the West Indies".
  2. ^ The University of the West Indies, A Quinquagenary Calendar 1948-1998,Douglas Hall,1998.Jamaica, The Press, University of the West Indies
  3. ^ "Happy 90th Birthday to the Visitor!!!". 22 April 2015. Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Report of the West Indies Committee of the Commission on Higher Education in the Colonies, Presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to Parliament by Command of His Majesty June 1945. London, His Majesty's Stationery Office
  6. ^ Brown, Suzanne Francis (2006). Mona Past and Present: The History and Heritage of the Mona Campus, University of the West Indies. University of the West Indies Press. p. 10-11. ISBN 9789766401597.
  7. ^ Tortello, Rebecca (November 7, 2005). "Pieces of the Past: Out Of Many Cultures: Gibraltar Camp a Refuge from war". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "History of the UHWI - University Hospital of the West Indies".
  9. ^ Henry, Balford (January 29, 2017). "UHWI, UWI team up for completion of hospital's overhaul". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "Campus Life - Open Campus". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "The University of the West Indies - Open Campus". Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ Government hands over land to UWI Friday, July 20, 2012, St. George's, Grenada
  13. ^ Grenada Hands Over Land for University of the West Indies Campus
  14. ^ UWI landed campus a step closer, November 10, 2017, Antigua and Barbuda Daily Observer Ltd.
  15. ^ UWI to add fourth campus in Antigua, 8 APRIL 2017, Loop News Barbados
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n The University of the West Indies: A Quinquagenary Calendar, 1948-1998. p. App A.
  17. ^ Higman, B. W. (1999). General History of the Caribbean. VI: Methodology and historiography of the Caribbean. London, England: UNESCO. ISBN 978-92-3-103360-5.
  18. ^ "Dr. Elsa Goveia is dead". Kingston, Jamaica: The Daily Gleaner. 20 March 1980. Retrieved 2017 – via access publication - free to read
  19. ^ "Patrick Hosein", LinkedIn.
  20. ^ Aub-Buscher, Gertrud (17 April 2000). "Bridget Jones". London, England: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ "Professor of Microbiology: Dr. Sheila King Makes History". Kingstown, Jamaica: The Gleaner. 4 July 1983. p. 21. Retrieved 2018 – via access publication - free to read
  22. ^ a b M. E. West and J. Homi. "Cannabis as a medicine". Br. J. Anaesth (1996) 76(1): 167 doi:10.1093/bja/76.1.167-a
  23. ^ "Dr. Kim Mallalieu" Archived 2017-04-06 at the Wayback Machine., The Faculty of Engineering, UWI St Augustine.
  24. ^ "UWI Students win MIT Technology Innovation Award" Archived 2017-12-01 at the Wayback Machine., UWI St Augustine, 21 May 2010.
  25. ^ "Orlando Patterson" Archived 2016-08-28 at the Wayback Machine., Harvard Department of Sociology.

External links

Campus websites

Other links

Caribbean Studies

Coordinates: 18°00?11?N 76°44?40?W / 18.0029784°N 76.744566°W / 18.0029784; -76.744566

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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