Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Wednesday, July 18, 2018—After two years of intense effort and strategic interventions, on July 18, 2018, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) received news from The Times Higher Education (THE) that the University has been ranked 37th among the best 129 universities in its 2018 Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings.
The UK-based company behind the world’s most influential university ranking judges world-class universities based on rigorous criteria which include performance indicators grouped into five areas: teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer).
According to Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, “The UWI has been preparing itself for its first official hemispheric ranking since launching its current Triple A Strategy (Strategic Plan 2017-2022), entitled Revitalizing Caribbean Development.” During a June 2018 interview with the Times Higher Education and THE World University Rankings in London, Vice-Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles discussed the sustainability of The UWI’s commitment to excellence, particularly with reference to the security of funding obligations expected of regional governments and the growing involvement of the regional private sector. The conversation followed high-level professional conceptual and technical preparatory work with the THE team conducted by The UWI Pro Vice-Chancellors Densil Williams [Planning and Strategy] and Richard Bernal [Global Affairs].
Commenting on the University’s performance in the ranking scheme, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted, “Entering officially into the rankings for the first time required tremendous mobilisation of resolve and resources. While we are very pleased with our entry ranking, alongside the largest, wealthiest universities, private and public, in the biggest countries, we recognise that we cannot rest on our laurels, not even for ten minutes, until we have reached top ten status in the next ten years.” He added, “We know what we have to do and our team is getting on with it.”
This news of the regional ranking comes as The UWI celebrates its 70th anniversary and the University now has its sights set on the results of the global university ranking to be released in September 2018 in Singapore. “Radically enhancing the international reputation and status of The UWI is our ultimate target. To this end, we have embarked on an aggressive global strategy,” said Vice-Chancellor Beckles.
In recent years, The UWI has established centres in Suzhou [China], New York [USA], and Lagos [Nigeria] with others being discussed for Canada, the European Union, Latin America, and the UK. As a result the University is positioned as one of the most globally engaged universities, a development that positively influenced this top third ranking in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Notes to the Editor:
Link to the 2018 Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings here: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2018/latin-america-university-rankings
About Times Higher Education
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, founded in 2004, provide the definitive list of the world's best universities, evaluated across teaching, research, international outlook, reputation and more. THE’s data are trusted by governments and universities and are a vital resource for students, helping them choose where to study. The 2018 Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings rank 129 universities from 10 countries in Latin America, and are based on the same rigorous criteria as the THE World University Rankings, but with special modifications to better reflect the characteristics of Latin America's universities, as outlined in the methodology here. It judges world-class universities employing 13 separate performance indicators across all their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. See www.timeshighereducation.com
About The UWI
For 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership, and in 2018 it marks its evolution from a university college in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to a respected regional university with near 50,000 students and four campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with sister universities 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 offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. Website: www.uwi.edu. (Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)