News Releases

UWI investigating incident on campus (UPDATES INCLUDED)

For Release Upon Receipt - October 17, 2018

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. October 17, 2018 - The St. Augustine Campus is working with the relevant authorities to investigate an incident that occurred on the campus yesterday, Tuesday October 16. According to a report from Campus Security, earlier yesterday afternoon there was a robbery involving a student near the Student Activity Centre (SAC). The initial investigation with the student reveals no evidence of attempted or alleged sexual assault, contrary to what has been mentioned on some social media sites.

We have spared no effort in creating a safe environment for all students that attend our campus. This remains a priority. We know that more can always be done and must be done to foster a space where all students feel safe and supported at all times. Indeed, we are in the process of testing a campus-wide student alert system that would facilitate more timely intervention. Further, in the spirit of continuous improvement, as is the practice, Campus Administration conducts full investigations of all incidents and takes action, as warranted.

All students are reminded to take the precautions we have continually promoted. In particular, students must visibly display their Student Identification Card upon entry to the campus and are strongly encouraged to make use of the following:  the Campus Security Escort Service, available on request from 6:00 pm – 6:00 am (Call exts. 82120/83510),  designated secure study areas, the Students Shuttle Service, the designated patrolled walkways, and the Emergency Blue Phone Service. If in need of assistance, or if  suspicious behaviour is observe, students are encouraged proceed to the nearest well-lit area and report the incident to Campus Security. 

For security tips, visit the Campus Security website




ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. October 19, 2018 - Following this initial statement (above), on Friday October 19, 2018 Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, Professor Brian Copeland and members of the Campus Management Team hosted a Press Conference at the Main Salon, Office of the Campus Principal to address security on the campus. The following statement was made by Professor Copeland at the start of the Press Conference:  

View the full Press Conference on the university's Facebook Page at

Good morning and welcome to the St. Augustine Campus. We wanted to take this opportunity to address the recent happenings on the campus openly, and to reconfirm our commitment to our student population and to the wider campus community. Thank you for taking the time to be here with us. 

Regarding Tuesday’s incident, the preliminary investigation upon receiving the student’s initial report to Campus Security revealed no evidence of sexual assault. The student’s formal statement which was made the following evening included further details related to the incident. This now includes details of indecent assault on the student. All necessary support is being made available by the Campus to the student.

Members of Campus Management went to the police stations and while they were unable to see the students, we were able to engage one of the student’s parents and offered whatever support they needed. We expressed to our Guild President Darrion that the university is prepared to provide legal counsel to represent the students’ interest.

The University has always maintained that students have the freedom of expression. The entire community is saddened by the events that have transpired over the past week. Administration activated our support systems and contacted legal counsel to provide support as needed.

I want to open the floor now for discussions and for your questions.



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, 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, Social Sciences and Sport. 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. Website:


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