News Releases

UWI welcomes 3,500 new undergrads in 14th Matriculation Ceremony

For Release Upon Receipt - September 16, 2016

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. September 16, 2016 – The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine hosted its annual Matriculation and Welcome Ceremony to welcome all first year students on September 15 at The UWI. The event marked Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal Professor Brian Copeland’s first Matriculation Ceremony in his new capacity following his July 1 appointment. This year’s undergraduate student intake total approximately 3,500 students, consistent with the intake figures of the last academic year.  

In his address, the Campus Principal urged students to make their contribution to society by working to change this state of economic affairs. "Do as your counterparts in other lands have done and apply those creative and innovative talents and skills to devise products, processes, systems and methods that the world has never seen before. Move then to create your own companies, medium or small, to sell these new entities or, as an employee of an already established firm, to improve the value of its existing products, processes, systems and methods so as to improve its international competitiveness. You need to start thinking about this as of now. Fulfil your mandate as future leaders of the Caribbean."  

In addition to the Principal’s Address, the ceremony is marked by the symbolic signing of the Matriculation Register by a student of the incoming cohort, the recital of the Academic Vow led by President of the Guild of Students – Makesi Peters and the official welcome by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. In his remarks, which included the official recognition of new students as members of the academic community of the region’s premiere university, Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles said, “Around the world people have marvelled at how we have been able to build a first class university with limited financial resources...This tradition of excellence that we have created over the past 68 years has been entrusted to you.” 

This year, the Matriculation Register was signed by Ms. Asmita Nankissoon, a first-year student in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Nankissoon, a former student of the St. Augustine Girls High School, was recognised for obtaining the highest grade in CSEC Physics and CAPE Biology Unit 1 at her high school, as well as for her cultural contribution and dance. As is the tradition, she was selected for demonstrating the key attributes of the distinctive The UWI graduate. 

A Matriculation Ceremony is the occasion where new students are formally recognised as members of the university community. In 2002, after a 30-year hiatus, the Matriculation and Welcome Ceremony was reinstated at The UWI St. Augustine Campus under then Campus Principal Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie. Now, a mainstay on the campus’ calendar, 2016 commemorates the 14th staging of the event which always takes place at the start of the academic year.



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 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 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.)