For the past 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. 

In 2018, The UWI celebrates its evolution from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students. Today, 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. 

As a global university rooted in the Caribbean, The UWI has established centres with leading higher education partners in North America, Asia, and Africa such as the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development, the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, and the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies. 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.

The UWI is regarded as 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 leads advocacy on development issues, the SDGs and the 2030 development agenda, as it seeks to build not only competitive Caribbean economies and industries, but a more civil and sophisticated society.

Critically, as it looks ahead to the future, the 21st century construct of The UWI is an even more globally-agile, regionally-engaged, digitally-driven University, dedicated as an academic community to playing an active and engaged role in promoting growth in both the economy and the society.

The University of the West Indies has built a solid reputation as a leader in higher education in the Caribbean region.

The University of the West Indies offers more possibilities for study than any other university in the Caribbean.

The University of the West Indies is one of only two regional universities in the world. Serving 17 separate countries of the English-speaking Caribbean, and stretching across 1,062,000 square miles of sea, the university reaches from Belize in Central America to the twin-island nation, Trinidad and Tobago in the southern Caribbean, making it a unique institution.

The University of the West Indies has an exceptional record of producing leaders in the Caribbean and wider world. Its alumni base numbers well over 120,000 who are at the forefront of their fields locally, regionally and internationally.

Two of the four Nobel Laureates of Caribbean descent, 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 being 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.

The vast majority of Caribbean scholars, as well as more than 20 current and former Caribbean Prime Ministers and Heads of State are UWI alumni.

The University of the West Indies is the largest resource for knowledge creation and knowledge application in the region. No other grouping in the Caribbean comprises as many diverse thinkers and technical people, working assiduously on positive action to address the challenges of our island states and wider world.

Among some of the unique innovations credited to The UWI are:

  • The Mona Campus’ Cardiac Simulator (utilising a pig’s heart), which at least nine US teaching institutions have used in their cardio training programmes, including Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic, and Stanford University.
  • The Cave Hill Campus’ multimillion-dollar agricultural industry transformation project, which has created a viable, high-end leather industry based on the Barbados Black Belly Sheep.
  • The Genesis Pan (G-Pan) and the amplified Percussive Harmonic Instrument (PHI), or 'electric pan', two of the latest technological innovations of the Steel Pan Initiatives Project of the St Augustine Campus. The G-Pan increases the range of musical notes possible on the traditional steel pan, while the PHI key­board is a fully synthesized, MIDI-based instrument, which produces authentic steel pan tones as well as a variety of instrument tones.

The University of the West Indies offers over 800 world-class, accredited certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree and blended learning options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport.

It boasts faculty and students from more than 80 countries and collaborative links with well over 160 universities globally. The University’s research priorities align closely with areas of concern to the Caribbean region such as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity, social justice, increasing the Caribbean’s human capital in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Among our unique programme offerings are study options in 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 our 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 or explore the faculties at each campus.

1 University, 4 Campuses

Over its 70-year history, The UWI’s focus has been on creating an excellent and ethical university, offering an unrivalled suite of academic programmes, producing research with global impact and strong leadership competence in all faculties and departments spread across its four campuses.


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. There are more than 300 programme options available across the campus’ 7 faculties, 8 schools and 12 specialist centres. 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

Faculties at St. Augustine

The St. Augustine Campus is situated 15km from the twin-island state's capital, Port-of-Spain. With its focus on research and innovation, fully accredited programmes across 8 faculties, and a cosmopolitan campus community, 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

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. The youngest and smallest of the three landed campuses, 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. 


Faculties at The Open Campus

With sites spread across 17 charming Caribbean islands, The UWI’s newest 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. With the recent investment of CAD$31 million from the Government of Canada, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Universal Fund Jamaica, the campus is equipped and ready to lead The UWI into the digital world, enabling Caribbean nationals to reside at home, to build nations, and keep families together, while pursuing their educational goals.

The graduates we produce

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, The UWI's vast network of alumni is impacting the globe.  Our over 120,000 graduates are spread across the world and are making significant impact in their diverse array of professions.

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%
    Percentage of International Students
  • 71 : 29
    Student Ratio of Females to Males
  • 23,305
    Number of FTE Students
Based on data collected for the (1) 2020 World University Rankings