Message from the Director

I take great pleasure in extending to you warm greetings from The UWI Institute of International Relations at this exciting point in our history. In 2016 – 2017, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of our establishment. We spent time looking back at the Institute’s origins - an initiative driven by Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister, the Rt Honourable Dr Eric Williams, to equip Caribbean public and private sector professionals to represent their fledgling nation-states in the international community. We reflected on its evolution since the 1960s and the progress made in executing the training, research and outreach mission.

The journey continues as we work to increase the diversity, regional and international representativeness of our student intake, and to enhance the experience of our students by broadening the range of programmes, courses, internships and study trips available to them. We strive to increase and expand the scope of our research output, and to deepen our partnerships with governments and other stakeholders in the Caribbean and further afield. The IIR also attaches great importance to maintaining strong relationships with its impressive array of alumni who provide valuable support and good will for our endeavours. The staff, students, alumni and retirees of the IIR are all part of our extended family, a close-knit community which is the Institute’s greatest resource and legacy of the past half century.

Today, the IIR offers the following programmes and resources:-

  • MPhil and PhD research degrees in International Relations. Students in these programmes represent an important dimension of the institution’s research production and their topics cover a wide range of themes in security, international political economy, global and regional governance, diplomacy and foreign policy.
  • M.Sc. and Postgraduate Diploma qualifications in Global Studies and International Relations. In addition to the core and elective courses in their programmes, our students are also given the opportunity to pursue internships with international bodies and public and private entities, to do workshops designed to strengthen their professional skills and competences and periodically to participate in study and travel tours that increase their international exposure and understanding of their global and regional environments.
  • Short, professional development courses on Protocol, Diplomatic and Corporate Communication, and on various contemporary issues which are high on international agendas. These are offered by the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean, an affiliate institution of the IIR, established in 2014.
  • Public outreach programmes of Diplomatic Dialogues and public lectures on themes of contemporary international interest.
  • Periodic conferences, workshops and symposia, often carried out in collaboration with external partners and other university departments on themes of International Relations and national/regional public policy.      
  • The Norman Girvan Library which houses one of the finest collections of books, periodicals and public documents on the international relations of the Caribbean region.
  • A number of research projects and networks, including the Caribbean Child Rights Observatory Network (CCRON).

We look forward to engaging with you in our various activities and we encourage you to visit the IIR often, whether face to face or virtually. You are always welcome!


Professor Jessica Byron, PhD

Director, IIR



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