About The UWI

An institution with a rich history

In 1943 the Vice Chancellors of United Kingdom Universities convened a special commission to 'consider the principles which should guide the promotion of higher education, learning and research...in the colonies.' The recommendations of that commission saw a Royal Charter formally establishing what was then the University College of the West Indies in 1948. The University of the West Indies which today boasts of being one of only two regional higher education institutions in the world began with one campus (Mona, Jamaica) at the historic Gibraltar World War II Camp acquired at a cost of £12,000.

In 1960 The UWI's second campus at St. Augustine was born out of a merger between the University College and the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (IATA) in the island of Trinidad. The two campus College remained affiliated with the University of London until 1962 when it became The University of the West Indies, an institution in its own right with the privilege of granting its own degrees.

What is today known as The Cave Hill Campus of The University of the West Indies started in 1963 as the College of Arts & Sciences in temporary quarters at the Bridgetown Harbour. On October 16, 1967 the College of Arts and Science at Barbados opened the academic year at the new university buildings at Cave Hill, on a 45-acre site provided by the Government of Barbados. With the establishment of the Faculty of Law in 1970, the name of the Caribbean College was changed to the Cave Hill Campus of The University of the West Indies.

The UWI's fourth Campus, the Open Campus was formally launched in June 2008 in Antigua and Barbuda. The Open Campus is an amalgamation of the 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 all of which are direct descendants of the Department of Extra-Mural Studies. The UWI Open Campus offers multi-mode teaching and learning services through virtual and physical site locations across the Caribbean region. There are nearly 50 physical site locations of the Open Campus of the Open Campus in the region, serving 17 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean.

A true 21st century institution, The UWI established its fifth campus in Five Islands – Antigua and Barbuda in 2019 with the aim of expanding its service to the organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). It opened with three schools offering programmes in Humanities and Education; Management, Science and Technology; and Health and Behavioural Sciences.

As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has also established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean 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; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.


Our Mission, vision and core values

Our Vision

To be an excellent global university rooted in the Caribbean.

Our Mission

To advance learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of the Caribbean and the wider world.

Our Core Values

  • Integrity: The UWI will perform in an honest, caring, ethical and trustworthy manner, and will create a culture of accountability in its management practices to ensure that these values are sustained.
  • Excellence: The UWI will serve its internal and external stakeholders by delivering consistently high-quality and relevant service, benchmarked against international standards and operational best practices.
  • Gender Justice: The UWI will actively create and sustain, as a core value, a social, academic, and administrative culture that supports and promotes gender equality and justice within its environments. This policy will require systematic research into its effectiveness with a view to taking appropriate actions of a corrective nature.
  • Diversity: The UWI will foster a culture and work/study environment that is open and welcoming to different ideas and perspectives, acknowledges and values diversity, is inclusive of and affirms the dignity of all persons regardless of race, socio-economic status, age, sex, gender identity and expression, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, family or marital status, national origin, language, political or religious persuasion, health status, and other characteristics that make its constituents unique.
  • Student Centredness: The UWI will ensure that its policies, governance and daily operations are geared towards the delivery of an exceptional teaching and learning experience for all students.


UCWI/UWI Timeline

This is a timeline of major events and developments at the University of the West Indies (UWI), from its inception as the University College of the West Indies (UCWI); as well as the events whcih fed into the University's coming into being.

Visit Timeline here...