News Releases

The UWI Open Campus and IDB partner to provide more online education for the region

For Release Upon Receipt - November 7, 2018


The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are partnering to bring more online learning to citizens across the Caribbean region and the world.

IDB data shows a significant demand in the English-speaking Caribbean for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) content. Previous Caribbean-focused MOOCs offered through the IDB’s delivery platform, EdX, recorded a total enrolment of over 11,000 students over the period 2014-2018, with highest participation from countries including Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, and the Bahamas.

The UWI IDB partnership explores opportunities to cooperate on the development of joint MOOCs; translation of existing Bank MOOCs from Spanish to English with Caribbean content and assessment of selected Bank or joint MOOCs, training courses and/or educational programmes for academic credit and certification by The UWI.

According to Edgar Gonzalez, Learning and Knowledge Management Lead Specialist, from the IDB, “MOOCs are positively impacting the academic, professional and social life of learners in Latin America and the Caribbean. In fact, MOOCs are generating benefits in the region, especially in less developed countries where access to formal education and information and communication technology are more limited.” Gonzalez was speaking during a presentation on how MOOCs are impacting learners in Latin America and the Caribbean, at The UWI Regional Headquarters in Mona, Jamaica, on November 5, 2018.

The University also took the opportunity to present a special collection of UWI Press publications to the IDB covering socio-economic development and history of the English-speaking Caribbean. During the handover, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The UWI Open Campus, and Chair of the Board of UWI Press, Dr. Luz Longsworth said, “The UWI Press is delighted that the excellent scholarly work out of The UWI and the Caribbean will now be available in the IDB’s Library.  This will be an invaluable resource for cutting edge research that will help in the formulation of policy and support for our region.”

Also commenting on The UWI IDB collaboration, Ms. Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager, IDB Caribbean Group said, “I am delighted that The UWI has decided to start the process to award academic credit to IDBx MOOCs. We are certain that this collaboration between The UWI and IDB would not only serve to increase the leverage of the knowledge created and disseminated by our institutions but will also allow students worldwide to access these courses, learn more about the Caribbean and receive academic credit for it.” 

The November 5 event follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by The UWI and the IDB in August 2018. The objective of the MOU is to formalise a non-exclusive framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration between the institutions on programmes and projects to promote evidence-based decision-making on economic and social policy issues in the Caribbean region, through the development of a joint knowledge creation and dissemination agenda.




Notes to the Editor

Photo captions

8121:  (from left), Representatives of UWI Press, Karen Smith and Donna Muirhead, present a collection of UWI Press publications to Ms. Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager, IDB Caribbean Group, as Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The UWI Open Campus and Chair of the Board of UWI Press, looks on.

8098: Ms. Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager, IDB Caribbean Group, makes a point as she brings greetings during The UWI-IDB special presentation on “MOOCs – Pathways to Open Knowledge” on November 5, 2018, at The UWI Regional Headquarters, Mona, Jamaica.


About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) works to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The IDB is the leading source of development financing for this region and provides loans, grants, and technical assistance. It is also conducting extensive research. As a multilateral development agency, the IDB maintains a strong commitment to achieving measurable results and the highest standards of increased integrity, transparency, and accountability.

The IDB is also committed to sharing knowledge on economic and social development topics to strengthen the capacity of decision-makers and development actors in the region and to provide evidence of what works and what does not work in terms of development policies, programs, and projects. This knowledge is the result of thousands of development operations implemented over the years, collected and distilled through project evaluations, research findings, publications, lessons learned, and case studies. In addition to the open educational resources as well as online tutor-led and face-to-face courses, the IDB is offering a series of massive open online courses (MOOCs), available through IDBx, its training initiative in EdX.


About The UWI 

For 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership, and in 2018 it marks its evolution from a university college in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to a respected regional university with near 50,000 students and four campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with sister universities in North America, Asia, and Africa such as the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development, the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, and the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies. The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The University was recently ranked among Times Higher Education’s top universities in world for 2019 and the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious list. Website:

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