News Releases

Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller to be named Honorary Distinguished Fellow of The UWI

For Release Upon Receipt - June 27, 2017


Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Tuesday, June 27, 2017. The University of the West Indies (The UWI) joins with the people of Jamaica, the wider Caribbean and its Diasporas, and indeed the global coalitions for democratic governance and equality for women and the inclusion of the poor, in celebrating the long and distinguished contribution of the Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller to public and political life.

As the former Prime Minister of Jamaica prepares to exit the corridors of constituent and national leadership, her legacy, shaped by a phenomenal rising from the grass roots and resilience at the highest echelons, will be the subject of significant research and academic discourse. Feminists will find much to discuss and the trail of accomplishments at the highest level, will provide room for robust interventions.

The UWI, therefore, consistent with its practice of celebrating its prime ministerial leaders, is keenly awaiting the opportunity to welcome Mrs Simpson-Miller into its ranks as an Honorary Distinguished Fellow. Arrangements are already in place for the provision of an office at the Mona Campus that will allow access to her by our students and colleagues.

The University has also made provisions for her formal association with the Institute for Gender and Development Studies in order to facilitate her writing of memoirs and other literary productions.

Other ideas for her deeper induction into the University community are under consideration. Within this context, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted, “It will be a historic moment, a magnificent relationship, and we will welcome her with exciting arms. She has done so much for our university.  We see her as an elder who has so much more to teach.”


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.)