News Releases

Statement on Penal- Debe Campus

For Release Upon Receipt - March 29, 2017

St. Augustine

In 2011 The UWI St. Augustine Campus was allocated some 100 acres of land in Debe for its South Campus, the expectation was (and is) that this location would increase access to the underserved in our community. Access is a key element of the vision of this regional university. The Mona Campus already has a satellite Campus in Western Jamaica and we ourselves have a physical presence in El Dorado with the Nursing School; at Mount Hope with our Faculty of Medical Sciences; in Trincity with the Agriculture Innovation Park, and the Department of Creative and Festival Arts in Gordon Street, St. Augustine. While located in different places, these are all part of the UWI family.

The area in Penal-Debe is a gently rolling greenfield site that once saw sugar cane cultivation. It is easily accessible from the east, west, north and south Trinidad and would see the land once again put to use that would regenerate lives and livelihoods in the area, and the nation.  The concept involves creating an eco-system, between the St. Augustine Campus and its South Campus.

Below is an update on the status that should give both context and perspective.

 This project has been in the public space for the last six years and is now three years overdue. Completion of the physical construction has meant changing contractors and, now that the construction is once again on track, the committee responsible for operationalising has once again been reconstituted.

  A firm decision with respect to what aspect of UWI teaching and learning will be relocating to the Penal-Debe campus has NOT yet been decided.

  An Operationalisation Committee was reconvened which comprised representatives from all stakeholder groups, including key administrative departments and the President of the Guild of Students. This Committee will be expanded to include additional student representatives, for example, the Head of the Law Society, as well as other faculty student leaders.  All students, by way of the Guild of Students, are statutorily part of every decision-making body at UWI.

The Operationalisation Committee will prepare an implementation strategy, inclusive of widespread internal consultation.

 Students and staff are our primary stakeholders. The move to the South Campus will be made when there is an appropriate academic ecosystem; one that is firmly connected to the St. Augustine Campus, and is fully equipped with the supporting student amenities.

  The final decision on what happens at the South Campus will be guided by an assessment of how The UWI could best utilise the South Campus to maximise return on the public investment in its development.

 The Campus Leadership Team will continue to engage key stakeholders as the process continues.

 About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in BarbadosJamaicaTrinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


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