News Releases

UNICA Welcomes New President

For Release Upon Receipt - May 3, 2016

St. Augustine

UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Tuesday, May 03, 2016. Vice-Chancellor of The University of The West Indies (UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, is the current President of the Association of Caribbean Universities and Research Institutes (UNICA).  The Presidency of this Regional Association was returned to The UWI at the meeting of its executive in February 2016. Vice-Chancellor Beckles holds the UNICA Presidency for the period 2016-18.

Meeting with the UNICA Executive, Vice-Chancellor Beckles urged its members to become advocates for regional development and requested their collaboration to create a vision for this development. He related the interest of the Caribbean community in convening a symposium where the role of the University in regional development would be addressed. He then charged UNICA’s Executive with the production of a publication that speaks to the work and role of Caribbean universities.

UNICA, established 49 years ago, is the only consortium of Caribbean universities, whose membership (currently 24), represents the diverse linguistic groupings in the Caribbean. Member institutions come from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti, French Antilles, Dutch Antilles, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands, UWI territories and Guyana. The Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC) and The City University of New York (CUNY) are Affiliate Members.

UNICA’s primary mission is to promote alliances among regional universities, university networks and research institutes to increase cooperation, encourage faculty and student exchange, and intensify collaborative research. 

To this end, since February, UNICA has opened up its membership and has cemented partnerships with other networks such as the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) and the Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAIE). It also signed the Alliance for Academic Mobility, an initiative of Council of Iberoamerican Universities (SEGIB-CUIB) and is a Member of the Pro Tempore Executive Committee of ENLACES (Common Academic Space).  UNICA is also a Member of the IESALC-UNESCO Working Group addressing the revision of the UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications in the LAC region as well as a member of the CARIFORUM-EU Consultative Committee.



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.)