News Releases

The UWI Open Campus marks a decade of success after launching at CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting

For Release Upon Receipt - July 4, 2018


As the 39th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is underway, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles will share with members, the vision for the next phase of The UWI on its 70th anniversary.  The 2018 celebration of the regional university’s 70 years of existence, also marks a decade of success for The UWI Open Campus.

Formally established on July 4, 2008 at the Council of the Caribbean Heads of Government Annual Meeting in Antigua & Barbuda, the launch of The UWI Open Campus was one of the highlights of The UWI’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Its establishment was a visionary and strategic response to the growing needs of access to higher education and lifelong learning for the 21st century. However, its foundation was laid since 1948 when founders of The UWI—then the University College of London—had the foresight to create an extra-mural department within the University to provide the Caribbean community with essential outreach services. After years of evolution the extra-mural department became the Open Campus.

In the 10 years of fulfilling a new phase of The UWI’s mandate, the Open Campus has developed a remarkable organisation based on technology but also based on people development. Currently, the Campus offers over 50 degree programmes fully online with hundreds of associated courses. In addition, its 42 sites in 17 countries provide support for students as well as serve as ambassadorial points of contact for The UWI throughout the region. The UWI has utilized the Open Campus as an incubator for innovation and technological growth with the success of its online programming is now being mainstreamed into the landed campuses as a part of their own growth and 21st century development. The Open Campus has also led the adoption of new pathways to learning such as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), Programme Laddering and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Professional and Continuing Education courses and programmes.

Speaking on the success of the Open Campus, Campus Principal Dr Luz Longsworth said “As we celebrate today, we also look forward to a future where the Open Campus will continue to enable Caribbean nationals to reside at home to build nations and keep families together, while pursuing their education.”  Looking towards the future, she added, “the Open Campus will also provide the platform for all The UWI campuses to deliver their programmes and research to the region and internationally.”

Sharing his sentiments on the milestone Vice-Chancellor Beckles stated, “Over the past decade and beyond, the framework is that the Open Campus has been the glue that bonds our University’s broad-based impact on the regional community. It has supported The UWI in providing virtual and physical access to accredited programmes, courses and other services to students, especially in the OECS.  The challenges of the region’s economic growth are directly linked to the low levels of higher education enrolment in our hemisphere and the Open Campus has proven itself as ready and prepared to continue to be the key that opens the doors to higher education and bring equity to the region.”




For more information on the UWI Open Campus, please visit


About The UWI


For the past 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region. In 2018, The UWI celebrates its evolution from 1948 as a university college in Jamaica with 33 medical students to an internationally respected regional university with near 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an 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 & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. Its 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. The UWI has been a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of our people. As the regional institution commemorates its 70th anniversary milestone, it will celebrate its students, faculty, administrators, alumni, governments, and partners in the public and private sector. The anniversary commemoration will focus on reflection as well as projection for the future with an emphasis on social justice and the economic transformation of the region. Website: and 

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