|Motto||Oriens Ex Occidente Lux (Latin)|
Motto in English
|A Light Rising From The West|
|Type||Regional university Public, Autonomous|
|Chancellor||Mr. Robert Bermudez|
|Sir Hilary Beckles|
|Students||36,000+ (across 4 campuses)|
|Affiliations||Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)|
The University of the West Indies (UWI) 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 of these countries 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 for improved regional autonomy. The University was originally instituted as an independent external college of the University of London.
The University consists of three physical campuses at Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados. There is also a virtual, online-based, university through the University's Open Campus. 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). 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 which has a physical presence and Heads of Sites in each of the 18 countries. There are International Programmes and partnerships for universities in the USA, Canada, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil and Mexico such as 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 and Universidad de Quintana Roo.
The University has produced students who have excelled in a number of disciplines, including the arts and sciences, business, politics, and sports. Notable alumni and faculty include three U.W.I.(Mona) Nobel Laureates, sixty-one Rhodes Scholars, 18 current or former Caribbean Heads of Government, and an Olympic medalist. The university's cricket team previously participated in West Indian domestic cricket, but now participates as part of a Combined Campuses and Colleges team.
The university was founded in 1948, on the recommendation of the Asquith Commission through its sub-committee on the West Indies chaired by Sir James Irvine. 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 a camp used by evacuated Gibraltarians during the war.
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.
Each of the physical campuses has faculties common to all of the campuses, such as Humanities & Education and Social Sciences. Cave Hill and Mona have the Faculty of Science & Technology while St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago, houses the School of Natural Sciences and the School of Agriculture under the Faculty of Agriculture and Sciences. Cave Hill, Barbados and Mona, Jamaica and St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago has a full Faculty of Law. Both Mona, Jamaica, and St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago, have the Faculty of Medicine. In 2008 Cave Hill accepted the first students at their Faculty of Medicine. Previously, they only accommodated students in the final two years in the medical program at their School of Medicine which was located at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. St. Augustine also has the Faculty of Engineering.
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 June 24, 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.
Current enrollment across the four campuses is 56,000.
UWI graduates who are, or have been, heads of government:
Graduates in other fields: