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University College of the West Indies

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University College of the West Indies

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
File: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 3 campuses)
  • Mona, Jamaica
  • Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Cave Hill, Barbados
  • Debe, Trinidad and Tobago (under construction)
  • Mascot The Pelican
    Affiliations Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

    The University of the West Indies is a public university system serving 18 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the 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. 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 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.[1] 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 Pure & Applied Sciences 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, has a full Faculty of Law, so that undergraduates in Mona and St. Augustine who complete first year on their respective campuses must go on to Cave Hill. 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

    Dr Albert Belville Lockhart: Consultant and Ophthalmologist, Recipient of the Jamaican Order of Merit, co-inventor of Canasol[2]

    Professor Manley Elisha West: Professor of Pharmacology, Recipient of the Jamaican Order of Merit, co-inventor of Canasol[2]

    Notable alumni

    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

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


    External links

    • University of the West Indies Official Web Site

    Campus websites

    • Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
    • Cave Hill School of Business
    • Mona Campus, Jamaica
    • St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago
    • Western Jamaica Campus
    • Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mount Hope, Trinidad and Tobago
    • Open Campus

    Other links

    • Aerial view of Mona Campus
    • List of Programmes offered through UWI
    • The Cavite Chorale, One of the singing groups of the University of the West Indies
    • UWI Student Mailing list

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

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