News Releases

UWI is developing Medicine and Agriculture collaborations with South America

For Release Upon Receipt - November 15, 2017

St. Augustine

On October 27–31 The University of the West Indies’ (UWI), St. Augustine Campus hosted Columbia’s Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Alfonso Muñera and a delegation of Rectors (Presidents) from some of Columbia’s top universities on its Caribbean coast.

The visiting party included Rectors Dr Jairo Miguel Torres Oviedo (University of Córdoba), Dr Vicente Periñan Petro (University of Sucre), Dr Edgar Parra Chacón (University of Cartagena) and Dr Carlos Prasca Muñoz (University of the Atlantic). Prior to their arrival, the Rectors shared 19 tailored collaboration proposals across a wide range of disciplines but with a strong concentration on Agriculture and Tropical Medicine. The packed itinerary included meetings with the Faculty Deans and heads of research institutes including International Relations Institute (IIR), Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), Cocoa Research Centre (CRC) and the Institute for Gender Development Studies (IGDS). The guests attended the Faculty of Social Science’s Graduation Ceremony where they met The UWI’s Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and leaders from its sister Campuses.  They also visited the Faculty of Medical Sciences and were treated to a tour of the Mt. Hope Field Station to view the University’s work in plants and animals.

Mr. Sharan Chandradath Singh, The UWI’s Director of Institutional Advancement and Internationalisation speaking on the next steps noted that “coming out of the substantial discussions we are compiling a list of realistic collaboration priorities which fall into some major cross-disciplinary thematic areas including migration, social and economic impact; sustainable and economic development, tropical medicine and the development of new agriculture industries like Cocoa (in Colombia) and Cassava (In T&T).” According to Mr. Singh, the priority mechanisms for collaboration will be the development of grant proposals and research projects, the focused mobility of selected staff and students and the sharing of unique curriculum.  There are also strong possibilities for collaboration in language and culture which will be designed over the coming months.  

Ambassador Muñera, who is the former Secretary General of the Association of American States and Columbian Ambassador to Jamaica, has a long standing relationship with The UWI and has been responsible for establishing language training opportunities in Columbia for students from The UWI’s three physical campuses. In his capacity as Colombia’s Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, HE Ambassador Muñera is continuing to champion the cultural and educational engagement between Colombia and the Caribbean region by facilitating exercises such as this this landmark visit.




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, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad 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, Social Sciences and Sport. The 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.)