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The UWI climbs

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Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Monday, August 19, 2019—After its excellent 2018 debut in the Times Higher Education (THE) Latin America University Rankings, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has climbed even higher in the 2019 report published by the prestigious UK-based ranking agency.  The THE’s recently published rankings for the Caribbean and Latin America show the continued improvement of The UWI, as it placed 32nd among the 150 best ranked universities across Latin America and the Caribbean—compared to 37th last year.

The UWI remains the number 1 ranked university in the Caribbean. This ranking is impressive given that the region has over 200 registered universities. Furthermore, The UWI has improved its position within the top 3% of universities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Again, the ranking stands out within a network of over 2,000 registered universities.

The strong showing comes on the eve of the 2020 World University Rankings due for publication at the end of September 2019. The UWI’s performance reflects the considerably improved hemispheric recognition of the University’s research impact in multiple disciplines, the development of strategic alliances with Latin American universities, and the official recognition of its contribution to the development agenda of the subregion.

Developments in Mexico and Colombia, in particular, have seen The UWI’s visibility mushroomed. Pointedly impactful was the collaboration between Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and the President of the University of Miami, Professor Julio Frenk to constitute the leadership vanguard of a visionary project to create a Hemispheric University Consortium. The objective of the project is to connect high performing universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to rapidly expand student mobility and research collaboration across the grouping to accelerate development.

In addition, the newly created higher education organisation, Universities Caribbean, a collaborative grouping of over 40 universities from Cuba, Curaçao and Colombia to Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Haiti to Suriname, elected Vice-Chancellor Beckles as its first President. These developments served to enhance The UWI’s academic reputation, strategic partnering, and student preparation for the postmodern world.

Responding to the news of The UWI’s rise in the rankings, Vice-Chancellor Beckles stated, “We have set out on a strategic mission to radically transform and improve The UWI’s regional and international academic standing as an excellent global university rooted in the Caribbean. My colleagues are mobilised around this vision, and have worked very hard and smart as a leadership team. I am very impressed with their focus and commitment to serve The UWI and the people of the Caribbean who are deserving of excellent outcomes. This rise in our ranking reflects the efficient and effective effort of the entire UWI family to be the best it can be.”


Notes to the Editor:

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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 2019 Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings rank the best 150 universities from 12 countries in region. They 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. For more, see

About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally 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 universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). 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. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. Times Higher Education ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018 and 2019. The UWI was the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)