The University of the West Indies

501–600 th
World University Rankings 2020
401–600 th
Impact Rankings 2020
18 th
Latin America Rankings 2020

A global university rooted in the Caribbean

For over seven decades, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. Starting as a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI has evolved into an internationally respected academy with near 50,000 students and 5 campuses:

  • Mona, Jamaica (1948)
  • St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago (1960)
  • Cave Hill, Barbados (1963)
  • Open Campus (2008)
  • Five Islands, Antigua and Barbuda (2019) 

One of only two regional universities in the world, The UWI extends from Belize in Central America to Trinidad and Tobago in the southern Caribbean. 

It is also one of the world’s most globalised universities, with nine global centres spread across North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

  • University of Lagos-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies, Nigeria
  • Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • UWI-China Institute of Information Technology with the Global Institute of Software Technology, Suzhou, China
  • Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with University of Glasgow, UK
  • UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with University of Coventry, UK
  • Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
  • The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development, Cuba
  • State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development, USA
  • Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University, Canada

The UWI’s 2017-2022 strategic plan, themed the Triple A Strategy, focusses on widening Access to quality tertiary education, Alignment of the University with academic-industry partnerships relevant to the region’s needs and improved Agility through global connections and initiatives.

Ranked among the best in the world

Since 2018, The UWI has earned a place among the top 600 universities in the world, the top 40 in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in the top 100 Golden Age University Rankings and Impact Rankings in 2020. The UWI remains the only Caribbean university to make these prestigious lists.

Leading as an activist university

The UWI is an activist university with a mission to advance learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of the Caribbean and the wider world.

The regional institution is an ideal partner for research collaboration, expert-knowledge exchange and stakeholder engagement in a diverse range of Caribbean-focused development projects, initiatives and inter-institutional agreements with regional and international governments, multi-lateral development agencies, and the private sector. The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

COVID-19

Its demonstrable impact and value was evident in The UWI’s contribution in close partnership with the governments to successfully contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the Caribbean region. UWI science, medicine, engineering and volunteerism of staff, students and alumni on the frontlines helped shape the Caribbean response as a best-case study recognised across the world. Read more.

Climate Action and SDG Impact

The UWI’s advocacy on the SDGs and the 2030 development has received global acknowledgement. In January 2019, the International Association of Universities (IAU) designated The UWI as the lead institution for a Global University Consortium on SDG 13 (Climate Action) in recognition of the University’s decades of research contributions on climate change and sustainable development. In an analysis of research conducted over the past three decades, prior to and after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report, The UWI emerged as the leading University producer of information on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Read more on The UWI’s climate action.

Reparatory Justice

As the global reparatory justice movement takes shape as one of the greatest political movements of the 21st century, The UWI affirms its commitment to greater advocacy and consciousness-raising. As a university with social justice as part of its core mission, it ushered a new era in the global reparations movement in 2019. As part of the first-ever Caribbean Reparatory Justice initiative, The UWI partnered with Glasgow University in Scotland to create the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research representing a 20-year commitment of a £20 million investment placing it at the forefront of global reparations as a development framework.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Understanding that innovation is a key driver of economic growth, The UWI has embraced a leadership role in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship across the region to realise this growth. Read more on how The UWI is building an entrepreneurial university.

One Caribbean Solution

Passionate about ‘One Caribbean’ development solutions, The UWI serves as the Secretariat for Universities Caribbean, an association of Caribbean-based universities and research institutes spread across CARICOM countries as well as Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and the French and Dutch-speaking Antilles, working to foster cooperation among the higher education institutions in the Caribbean region, leveraging expertise and strengthening the alignment between higher education, development agencies, the public and private sectors and civil society.

Hemispheric University Consortium

The UWI is also a co-chair of the Hemispheric University Consortium (HUC), comprising 14 universities across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States committed to sharing academic and infrastructure resources and collaborating in addressing the challenges facing universities and global society, through a range of broad and dynamic key thematic areas with priority given to human prosperity and well-being, and climate change, sustainability and resilience.

The UWI is renowned for its exceptional record of producing leaders in the region and the wider world. Its alumni base numbers over 230,000; and constitutes from Emmy Award and Man Booker Prize to Nobel Prize winners, CEOs to entrepreneurs, academics to artists, leaders of Caribbean nations to leaders across all sectors, impacting the globe at the forefront of their fields. Two of the four Nobel Laureates of Caribbean descent, Sir Derek A. Walcott (Nobel Prize for Literature, 1992) and Sir Arthur Lewis (Nobel Prize for Economics, 1979), have direct ties to the University. Sir Derek an alumnus, and Sir Arthur a former Vice-Chancellor. UWI Professors, Anthony Chen, Leonard Nurse and John Agard also shared in the glory of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize given jointly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr, for their contribution to the IPCC as authors of special scientific working group reports.

Climate Action Work

 

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) boasts a student population of approximately 50,000 students drawn from more than 80 countries offering a diverse student experience like no other.

1 University, 5 Campuses

  1. Mona, Jamaica
  2. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
  3. Cave Hill, Barbados
  4. Open Campus
  5. Five Islands, Antigua and Barbuda

Over 800 world-class, accredited programmes that are international in scope with a unique Caribbean focus offered in blended learning modes at levels of:

  • certificate
  • diploma
  • undergraduate
  • postgraduate

Across 9 faculties

  • Engineering
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Humanities and Education
  • Law
  • Medical Sciences
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Sciences
  • Sport
  • Creative and Performing Arts (launching in August 2020)

A new online only suite of programmes under the UWI Global Online brand is currently in development.

The UWI enjoys collaborative links with well over 160 universities globally, presenting students with study abroad and student exchange options. It also operates 9 global centres, spread across North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, through which it delivers a range of joint initiatives including teaching and research programmes.

Among its unique programme offerings are study options in Climate Resilience; Cultural and Carnival Studies; Paediatric Haematology/Oncology; Software Engineering (Mobile Application Technologies); Africa and African Diaspora Studies; Animation and Film Production; Tropical Agriculture; Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean; Data Science; Sport Science and Sport Medicine; Oil and Gas, Caribbean Energy, and Caribbean Securities Regulation and Law to name just a few.

Outside the classroom campus life features highly competitive sporting programmes, clubs and societies and traditional ceremonies, festivals, parades and events zealously preserved by the campus community. Of course, all this, against the natural Caribbean canvas of sun, sand and sea, and a melting pot of diverse festivals, foods and cultures, makes The UWI one of the best places to study.

Search the range of programmes offered at http://apps.uwi.edu/programmes or explore the faculties at each campus.

Mona Campus

Faculties at  Mona

The oldest campus, located in Mona, Jamaica encompasses 653 acres of land nestled in a lush valley, formerly part of two large sugar estates. Historic ruins such as the aqueduct and water wheel remind of its plantation origins. The campus reflects a vibrant artistic community with several statues and murals dotting the landscape. One of the most impressive buildings on the Mona Campus is the Faculty of Medical Sciences’ Teaching and Research Complex. This 30,000 square metre state-of-the-art facility is home to students pursuing professional degrees in the various Health and Basic Medical Science disciplines. Mona is also the birthplace of specialised indigenous research centres such as the Tropical Medicine Research Institute, now renamed the Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR), and the Reggae Studies Unit.

St Augustine Campus

Faculties at St. Augustine

The St. Augustine Campus is situated 15km from Trinidad and Tobago’s capital, Port-of-Spain. With its focus on research and innovation, it a true representation of an innovative, internationally competitive, contemporary university deeply rooted in the Caribbean. It was born out of a merger between the University College of the West Indies and the old Imperial College for Tropical Agriculture. As such, the campus features diverse and rare species of tropical trees and flowering plants from around the world. Its International Cocoa Genebank is “the biggest and most important collection of cocoa gene types” in the world, and its Cocoa Research Centre has the legacy of over 80 years of research to support the local and global cocoa industry.

Cave Hill Campus

Faculties at Cave Hill

The picturesque Cave Hill Campus in Barbados overlooks the island’s capital, Bridgetown, and is the only campus with a sea view. Cave Hill offers an inviting and intimate atmosphere. At the same time, it is consciously designed to reflect a global landscape. It is focussed on transforming itself into a smart campus to better serve the needs of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. The campus has developed centres of excellence including the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre and the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination. It is also home to the state-of-the-art Usain Bolt Sporting Complex, which includes a FIFA-rated football field, an IAAF-rated athletic track, cricket high performance centre, sport labs and gyms. 

Open Campus

Programmes at Open Campus

With sites spread across 17 charming Caribbean islands, The UWI’s Open campus offers a flexible learning environment for online, blended and continuing professional education. It represents The UWI’s 21st century response to the education needs of the region, linking the University to the communities that it serves outside of its landed campuses. With nearly 50 locations across the Caribbean, the Open Campus provides virtual and physical access to The UWI’s accredited programmes, courses and other support services to students wherever they are. As the face of The UWI in the virtual and dispersed environment, the Open Campus brings together our people across the Caribbean Sea and beyond. Leading The UWI into the digital world, the Open Campus enables Caribbean nationals to reside at home, to build nations, and keep families together, while pursuing their educational goals.

Five Islands

Schools at Five Islands

In 2019, The UWI proudly launched its fifth campus in Antigua and Barbuda, which is nestled in the Five Islands Village, a quiet farming and fishing village of 500 people that was named for the five rock islands in the adjacent Five Islands Harbour. It lies just 4.8 km southwest of the nation's capital city, St. John's. The intent of the new campus is to serve the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), contributing to the development of the higher education and professional training sectors. The UWI Five Islands is being designed as a 21st century, fit-for-purpose campus, with a focus on the robust expansion of the region's social capital, presenting citizens of the OECS with new opportunities to access higher education.

The UWI has the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise—an impressive cadre of academic and administrative staff working together to propel our Caribbean University towards achieving its mission, “to advance learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of the Caribbean and the wider world” and vision, “to be an excellent global university rooted in the Caribbean”.

The UWI’s strategic plan for the period 2017-2022 emerges from such an understanding of the role of the University within its national, regional and global environments. The plan, which captures the multi-layered meaning of the University’s mission is deemed the Triple A Strategy. It rests upon three primary pillars: Access, Alignment, and Agility—Wealth creation and reduction of social inequality through greater and more affordable access, efficient and effective alignment with society and economy, and enhanced agility in pursuit of opportunities.

Within the Triple A Strategy, fostering a Creative, Caring, Accountable, Motivated, Professional (CAMP) team is a prime focus. In this plan, people and the relationships we cultivate are situated at the foundation for all that we hope to achieve. Consequently, The UWI is focused on employee engagement and promoting a culture of personal accountability throughout the organisation.

Explore rankings data for The University of the West Indies

All ranked institutions have an overall score and 4 pillar scores. However for each pillar, only institutions ranked in the top 500 overall or the top 500 in this pillar have a publicly visible score

Key statistics

  • 22.2
    No. of students per staff
    (1)
  • 1%
    Percentage of International Students
    (1)
  • 71 : 29
    Student Ratio of Females to Males
    (1)
  • 23,305
    Number of FTE Students
    (1)
Based on data collected for the (1) 2020 World University Rankings

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