About The UWI

A global 21st century 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 a modern, future-driven, activist, top-ranked academy with over 50,000 students. Our mission to advance learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of the Caribbean is centred on producing critical thinkers and leaders who serve the needs of the 21st century society.

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.

Ten global centres

It is also one of the world’s most globalised universities, with 10 global centres spread across North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

At a glance

  • World Ranking
  • Activist University
  • COVID-19
  • Climate Action
  • Reparatory Justice
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • One Caribbean Solution
  • Hemispheric Consortium

Ranked among the best in the world

Since 2016 when the University management took the strategic decision to prepare and position the institution for global competitive rankings, its performance results have been steadily progressive. The choice to engage the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking system was based on its standing as the most reputable and independently quality assured. Its annual rankings have become a standard measuring tool in the comparative performances of the best global universities.

Since The UWI’s 2018 debut in THE’s rankings, it has performed well in multiple schemes—among them including World University Rankings, Golden Age University Rankings (between 50 and 80 years old), Latin America Rankings, and the Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Well-being; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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.


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 2018, 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.

Access our Climate Action portal here

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.

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.

A legacy of producing leaders

UWI graduates can be found in every sector of Caribbean society, including the highest levels of government and business. Over 24 proud Pelicans have risen to become Heads of Government and countless others are leaders of all the professions – locally, regionally and internationally.

Our network of more than 250,000 alumni includes from Emmy Award, Man Booker and Nobel Prize winners, to CEOs, entrepreneurs, academics and artists and every other major discipline.

Start your journey with us

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos