News Releases

UWI students set for historic China initiative

For Release Upon Receipt - February 7, 2018


Twenty-five students from the BSc Software Engineering at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Mona campus, along with their parents, met with Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Senator the Hon Ruel Reid on February 2, 2018. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the terms and conditions of their departure for Suzhou, China later this year as part of the programme.  

Since 2015, Vice-Chancellor Beckles has been pioneering a strategy to establish a UWI Centre in China that will produce a generation of software engineers for Jamaica and the Caribbean, in order to lay the foundation for the much needed digital revolution in the region. Speaking at the meeting, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted that the Global Institute of Software Technology in Suzhou, The UWI’s strategic partner, will receive the students for their completion of the third and fourth year of the joint BSc programme.

Minister Reid, to the delight of students and parents, reaffirmed his commitment to a science and technology scholarship for the Jamaican students who will be meeting counterparts from the Cave Hill campus in Suzhou.

Speaking on need to support Jamaica’s insertion and leadership in the fourth industrial revolution, Minister Reid also indicated that the scholarship was the Government’s way of preparing and investing in the next generation for the task at hand, which is producing skills for developing and sustaining Technology Parks for industrial transformation. The initiative, the Minister stated, “Will help to position Jamaica and the region, and UWI, squarely at the centre of the science education system of China and will trigger in the near future a considerable industry alignment with the China economy.”

Vice-Chancellor Beckles commended the Minister for his critical support and noted that The UWI, with the support of the Government of Jamaica, was implementing the wish of China’s president, Xi Jinping, who agreed with CARICOM to facilitate industrial technology transfer to the region during his visit to the Caribbean in 2015.

Applications are now open for the 2018/2019 intake to the BSc Software Engineering programme. Find out more at




Notes to the Editor

Photo Caption: Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Professor Sir Hilary Beckles (3rd left, seated) and Minister of Education, Senator the Hon Ruel Reid (4th right, seated) and other officials of The UWI at a meeting with Software Engineering Students at the Mona campus.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the terms and conditions of the students’ departure for Suzhou, China later this year as part of the BSc Software Engineering programme.  


About The UWI-CIIT BSc Software Engineering Programme

In September of 2016, The UWI admitted its first cohort in a bi-culturally designed BSc Software Engineering programme with its Chinese partner, the Global Institute of Software Engineering (GIST). Students in the BSc Software Engineering programme have the unique advantage of the award of double credentials — a diploma from GIST and a bachelor’s degree from The UWI. The programme is offered as a 2+2 programme, with students spending the first two years in the Caribbean and the succeeding two years in China; where students can complete a six-month paid internship at an IT company in the Suzhou Industrial Park (the "Silicon Valley" of China). While English is the primary language of instruction for the programme, Chinese language and cultural training is provided as a part of the curriculum. This collaborative programme offered by The UWI and GIST is well aligned with the local, regional and international computing industries' needs, and offers core software engineering training aligned with the latest ACM/IEEE Software Engineering standards; a concentration in mobile application technologies in both the Android and iOS development environments; Chinese language training aligned with the Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (HSK) Chinese language proficiency standard; exposure to and knowledge of Chinese society, traditional culture, governance and business (with special emphasis on information technology (IT) based businesses); and IT certifications, issued by the relevant IT certification body. Visit for more information. 


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, and oldest higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in BarbadosJamaicaTrinidad 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 as well as the newly created Faculty of Sports Sciences. The UWI’s 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. For more information, visit

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