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This article is about the West Indies university in the English-speaking Caribbean. For the University of the French West Indies, see University of the French West Indies and Guiana.
University of the West Indies
Coat of arms of the University of the West Indies.png
Motto Oriens Ex Occidente Lux (Latin)
Motto in English A Light Rising From The West
Established 1948
Type Public
Chancellor Sir George Alleyne
Vice-Chancellor Prof. E. Nigel Harris
Academic staff 1,000+
Students 36,000+ (across 4 campuses)
Mascot The Pelican
Affiliations Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)
Website www.uwi.edu

The University of the West Indies is a public university system serving 18 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. 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.

Since the University's inception, students and faculty have been recognized in fields ranging from the arts and sciences, to business, politics, and sports. Notable alumni and faculty include two 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.

This university consists of three physical campuses at Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados and the Open Campus. 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[1] which has a physical presence and Heads of Sites in each of the 18 countries.


The university was founded in 1948, on the recommendations of the Asquith Commission, and in a special relationship with the University of London, as the University College of the West Indies (UCWI), and seated at Mona, about five miles from Kingston, Jamaica. The university was based at a camp used by evacuated Gibraltarians during the war.[2] The Asquith Commission had been established in 1943 to review the provision of higher education in the British colonies.

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 has a full Faculty of Law. Undergraduates in St. Augustine who complete first year on their campuse must go on to Cave Hill to complete the second and third years. 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.

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 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 E. Nigel Harris.

Current enrollment across the four campuses is 56,000.

Professors Emeriti include Sir George Alleyne, Mervyn C. Alleyne, Sir Fitzroy Richard Augier, Compton D. Bourne, Wilfred R. Chan, Daphne R. Douglas, Sir John Simon Rawson Golding, Douglas Gordon Hawkins Hall, Keith Laurence, Woodville Marshall, Mervyn Morris, Sir Kenneth Stewart, and Dr Micheal Carter.

Notable faculty and administrators[edit]

Dr Albert Belville Lockhart: Consultant and Ophthalmologist, Recipient of the Jamaican Order of Merit, co-inventor of Canasol[3]

Professor Manley Elisha West: Professor of Pharmacology, Recipient of the Jamaican Order of Merit, co-inventor of Canasol[3]

Notable alumni[edit]

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

Graduates in other fields:

  • Fae A. Ellington, Jamaican media personality and lecturer
  • Shafimana Ueitele, Namibian lawyer
  • Kris Rampersad, Journalist, Author, Cultural Advocate.
  • Glen Lutchman, MBBS, Clinical Assistant Professor, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Transplant, Stanford University Medical Center
  • David Barry Gaspar, Professor of History at Duke University
  • Edward L. Cox, Associate Professor of History at Rice University
  • Judge L. Dolliver M. Nelson, Member of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
  • The Hon. Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • J. Michael Dash, Professor of French, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University
  • Christine Emmons, PhD., Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center


  • 6 March 2012: H.R.H. Prince Harry of Wales, Honorary Fellow of the University of the West Indies

See also[edit]

Kris Rampersad - Author, Through the Political Glass Ceiling, Finding A Place.


  1. ^ http://www.open.uwi.edu/
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ 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

External links[edit]

Campus websites[edit]

Other links[edit]

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

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_the_West_Indies — Please support Wikipedia.
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Stabroek News
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:00:00 -0700

The past two decades have, however, seen West Indies cricket losing its way, Caricom stagnating and that other pillar of West Indian unity, the University of the West Indies resembling more a collection of national campuses than a truly integrated ...


Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:07:30 -0700

Our degrees say University of the West Indies. So it is an excellent opportunity for people who are residing in Nevis, unable perhaps, to travel or prefer to stay home and you can stay at home and work, you can stay with your family and you can continue.

Jamaica Observer

Jamaica Observer
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:30:00 -0700

The UCJ is headed by Ambassador Burchell Whiteman, who is also the acting president of the University of Technology. The council also include the principals of the University of the West Indies, the Northern Caribbean University, and the HEART Trust/NTA.

Jamaica Observer

Jamaica Observer
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 01:03:45 -0700

She obtained her Bachelor of Law from the University of the West Indies, Barbados in 1982, a Certificate of Legal Education from the Norman Manley Law School in 1984 and her Juris Doctor from the Mercer University School of Law, Georgia in 2000.

Jamaica Observer

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Fri, 29 Aug 2014 01:26:15 -0700

... and media consultant; Wyvolyn Gager, media trainer and consultant; Claude Robinson, associate training fellow, Mona School of Business at the University of the West Indies (UWI); and Anthony 'T Robb' Robinson, TV producer and newspaper columnist.
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Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:18:45 -0700

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In 1975, Mrs Seebaran-Suite graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree (first-class honours) from the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill, Barbados. She was awarded the Hugh Wooding scholarship by the Guild of Graduates of the ...

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — CHIEF Executive Officer of Sandal Resorts International (SRI) Adam Stewart has attributed the phenomenal growth of the University of the West Indies Mona, Western Jamaica Campus (UWI WJC) to regional integration.

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