University of the West Indies

The University of the West Indies
Motto Oriens Ex Occidente Lux (Latin)
Motto in English
A Light Rising From The West
Type Regional university, Public, Autonomous
Established 1948
Chancellor Mr. Robert Bermudez
Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles
Academic staff
Students 36,000 (across 4 campuses)
Campus Mona, Jamaica
Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Cave Hill, Barbados
Open Campus
Affiliations Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)
Caribbean Community
Mascot The Pelican
UWI Cave Hill
UWI St. Augustine
UWI Mona
UWI Open Campus

The University of the West Indies (UWI), originally University College of the West Indies,[1] 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.[2] The University was originally instituted as an independent external college of the University of London.[3]

The University has produced students who have excelled in a number of disciplines such as 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.


The university was founded in 1948, on the recommendation of the Asquith Commission[4] through its sub-committee on the West Indies chaired by Sir James Irvine.[5] 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 the Gibraltar Camp used by evacuated Gibraltarians during the war.[6][7]

Seeking to address a need for medical care the first faculty established was a medical school.[8] The foundation stone for a hospital was added in 1949 and the University College Hospital of the West Indies opened in 1953. On January 18, 1953, Sir Winston Churchill visited the hospital on January 18, 1953 and unveiled a plaque in recognition of the contribution made by the government of the United Kingdom to the hospital.[8] The hospital was renamed the University Hospital of the West Indies in 1967 when the University gained full university status.[8] The hospital offers patient care, the hospital also facilitates research and teaching along with the Medical Services department of the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies.[9]

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.

The University of the West Indies Museum catalogs and exhibits some of the university's history.


The University consists of three physical campuses: The University of the West Indies, Mona campus 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).[10] 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.[11]

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

The Open Campus has a physical presence and heads of sites in each of 18 countries. There are international programmes and partnerships for universities in the USA, Canada, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil and Mexico such as the 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 of the West Indies cricket team competes for the school. The 3Ws Oval is a stadium at the Cave Hill campus.

Chancellors of the University

Vice-chancellors of the University


Notable faculty and administrators

  • Daniel Coore: Professor in Computer Science at UWI Mona Campus[13]
  • Elsa Goveia: first female professor of UCWI and noted pioneer in West Indian historiography[14][15]
  • Patrick Hosein: Professor in Computer Science at UWI St Augustine Campus[16]
  • Bridget Jones (1935-2000) pioneering Literature and language professor from 1964-1982, who developed curricula to include Afro-, Anglo- and Franco-Caribbean writers in university syllabai at UWI and in Britain and Ireland.[17]
  • Dorothy King, CD head of the Microbiology Department of the medical faculty from 1973-2001.[18]
  • St. Clair King: Professor Emeritus in Computer and Electrical Engineering at UWI St. Augustine[19]
  • Elsa Leo-Rhynie: Principal of the Mona campus.
  • William Arthur Lewis: economist, lecturer, author and joint winner of Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics of 1979.
  • Albert Belville Lockhart: Consultant and Ophthalmologist, Recipient of the Jamaican Order of Merit, co-inventor of Canasol[20]
  • Kim Mallalieu: Senior Lecturer in Computer and Electrical Engineering at UWI ST Augustine[21][22]
  • Sam Mc Daniel:- B.Sc. UWI Mona Jamaica, M.A. (Biostatistics), Harvard University, Ph.D, Harvard University[23]
  • Evelyn O'Callaghan: Professor of West Indian literature, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education
  • Orlando Patterson: John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University[24]
  • Manley Elisha West: Professor of Pharmacology, recipient of the Jamaican Order of Merit, co-inventor of Canasol[20]

Notable alumni

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

Graduates in other fields:

See also


  1. "History of the UHWI - University Hospital of the West Indies".
  2. The University of the West Indies, A Quinquagenary Calendar 1948-1998,Douglas Hall,1998.Jamaica, The Press, University of the West Indies
  3. "Happy 90th Birthday to the Visitor!!!". 22 April 2015. Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  4. Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. 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
  6. Brown, Suzanne Francis (2006). Mona Past and Present: The History and Heritage of the Mona Campus, University of the West Indies. University of the West Indies Press. p. 10-11. ISBN 9789766401597.
  7. Tortello, Rebecca (November 7, 2005). "Pieces of the Past: Out Of Many Cultures: Gibraltar Camp a Refuge from war". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  8. 1 2 3 "History of the UHWI - University Hospital of the West Indies".
  9. Henry, Balford (January 29, 2017). "UHWI, UWI team up for completion of hospital's overhaul". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  10. "Campus Life - Open Campus". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  11. "The University of the West Indies - Open Campus". Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 The University of the West Indies: A Quinquagenary Calendar, 1948-1998. p. App A.
  13. "Daniel Coore promoted to the rank of Professor" Archived 2016-08-18 at the Wayback Machine., University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, 7 March 2016.
  14. 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.
  15. "Dr. Elsa Goveia is dead". Kingston, Jamaica: The Daily Gleaner. 20 March 1980. Retrieved 14 January 2017 via
  16. "Patrick Hosein", LinkedIn.
  17. Aub-Buscher, Gertrud (17 April 2000). "Bridget Jones". London, England: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  18. "Professor of Microbiology: Dr. Sheila King Makes History". Kingstown, Jamaica: The Gleaner. 4 July 1983. p. 21. Retrieved 1 February 2018 via
  19. "Professor St. Clair King" Archived 2017-04-06 at the Wayback Machine., The Faculty of Engineering, UWI St. Augustine.
  20. 1 2 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
  21. "Dr. Kim Mallalieu" Archived 2017-04-06 at the Wayback Machine., The Faculty of Engineering, UWI St Augustine.
  22. "UWI Students win MIT Technology Innovation Award" Archived 2017-12-01 at the Wayback Machine., UWI St Augustine, 21 May 2010.
  23. "Sam Mc Daniel" Archived 2016-08-18 at the Wayback Machine., University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica.
  24. "Orlando Patterson" Archived 2016-08-28 at the Wayback Machine., Harvard Department of Sociology.

Campus websites

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

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