News Releases

UWI enters into collaboration with Japanís Sophia University

For Release Upon Receipt - October 6, 2015

St. Augustine

UWI St. AUGUSTINE, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO,  06 October 2015: On September 30, 2015, UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and President of Sophia University in Japan, Takashi Hayashita signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at enhancing bilateral relationships that will enhance research and education at both institutions, while expanding the spectrum of academic collaboration and cultural awareness between the universities.  

The MOU signing at Jamaica House, followed the bilateral meetings held between the heads of government; Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller and Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.  

Grounded within the context of long-standing relations between Japan and the countries within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), along with the Government of Japan’s commitment to further strengthening its relations with CARICOM, the agreement outlines several areas for academic, scientific and educational cooperation. In addition to the exchange of faculty, scholars and students at all levels, the MOU commits to developing and implementing joint research programmes in areas such as sustainable development, climate change, marine biodiversity and the blue economy, and the application of technology to drive economic development.  

With The UWI as a significant contributor to regional intellectual growth and human development, in commenting on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor Beckles expounded on the critical value of the agreement in terms of fuelling much needed economic growth and wealth creation within the Caribbean region, while underscoring Japan's academic contribution and strong footprint in the Caribbean. 

Drawing clear alignment between this agreement and his leadership vision for the regional institution, he said, "The circumstances of the Caribbean today demand that we innovate, and that we diversify our economies; by engendering greater entrepreneurial spirit and even greater emphasis on research and innovation. Establishing strong linkages with partner institutions, especially those with similar strategic thrusts as ours, augers well for enabling the level of economic turnaround and wealth generation that the Caribbean so desperately needs. With partners like Sophia University, we are taking UWI closer to becoming a global brand of education".


About Sophia University

Sophia University, a pioneer of international education in Japan, was founded in the heart of Tokyo by the Jesuits in 1913. With its motto “Sophia – Bringing the World Together” the University has been attracting faculty and students from all over the world and has grown to be one of the foremost of Japan’s private universities. It has 9 undergraduate faculties with 29 departments, and 10 graduate schools with 27 programs including humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and engineering. It has 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and has teaching staff of more than 1,000. Sophia’s student and academic exchange partners count up to 246 institutions in 49 countries. The University has been selected for the government-led programs, “Top Global University Project” and just recently the “Re-inventing Japan Project 2015” planned to enhance the partnership with universities in Latin America and the Caribbean.


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 fully-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with three physical campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus. The UWI serves 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, The British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. The UWI’s faculty and students come from more than 40 countries and The University has collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. 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.

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