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 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.[1] The University was originally instituted as an independent external college of the University of London.[2]

The University consists of three physical campuses at Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, and 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).[3] 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[4] 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 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.


Book shelves UWI Library

The university was founded in 1948, on the recommendation of the Asquith Commission[5] through its sub-committee on the West Indies chaired by Sir James Irvine.[6] 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.[7]

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.

Faculties by Campus

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
Food & Agriculture

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. ^ The University of the West Indies, A Quinquagenary Calendar 1948-1998,Douglas Hall,1998.Jamaica, The Press, University of the West Indies
  2. ^ https://uwiarchives.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/happy-89th-birthday-to-the-visitor/
  3. ^ What is the Open Campus, UWI.'
  4. ^ "The University of the West Indies - Open Campus". Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.bcn.cl/obtienearchivo?id=documentos/10221.1/29331/2/213787.pdf
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Brown, Suzanne Francis (2006). Mona Past and Present: The History and Heritage of the Mona Campus, University of the West Indies p.10-11. University of the West Indies Press. ISBN 9789766401597. 
  8. ^ "Daniel Coore promoted to the rank of Professor", University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, 7 March 2016.
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Dr. Elsa Goveia is dead". Kingston, Jamaica: The Daily Gleaner. 20 March 1980. Retrieved 14 January 2017 – via Newspaperarchive.com.  open access publication – free to read
  11. ^ "Patrick Hosein", LinkedIn.
  12. ^ "Professor of Microbiology: Dr. Sheila King Makes History". Kingstown, Jamaica: The Gleaner. 4 July 1983. p. 21. Retrieved 1 February 2018 – via Newspaperarchive.com.  open access publication – free to read
  13. ^ "Professor St. Clair King", The Faculty of Engineering, UWI St. Augustine.
  14. ^ 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
  15. ^ "Dr. Kim Mallalieu", The Faculty of Engineering, UWI St Augustine.
  16. ^ "UWI Students win MIT Technology Innovation Award", UWI St Augustine, 21 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Sam Mc Daniel", University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica.
  18. ^ "Orlando Patterson", Harvard Department of Sociology.
  19. ^ "2 notable Belizeans laid to rest", News 5, 5 May 2014.

External links

Campus websites

Other links

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