News Releases

Statement on payment of over CI$2.3 million to The UWI by the Government of the Cayman Islands

For Release Upon Receipt - February 1, 2019


Vice-Chancellor of The University of West Indies (The UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles expresses his gratitude on behalf of the University, to the Government of the Cayman Islands for its payment of over CI$2.3 million dollars to the University. The payment follows ongoing discussions between The UWI and governments of its contributing countries about settling arrears with the University.

Following Vice-Chancellor Beckles’ presentation on the regional institution’s current financial challenges with respect to government receivables during CARICOM’s 29th Intersessional Meeting in Haiti in February 2018, a number of contributing governments had committed to settle their arrears to the University.  At a special meeting of The UWI’s University Grants Committee (UGC) held in Jamaica in November 2018, the Cayman Government committed to settle its outstanding balance at July 31, 2018 and subsequently, Minister of Education, the Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly met with the University Bursar, Mrs Andrea McNish on January 18, 2019 to present a cheque for the lump sum.

Commenting on the matter, Vice-Chancellor Beckles stated, “Negotiations to settle the receivables with the governments of our contributing nations has been working well. We are no doubt pleased to receive this payment from the Cayman Islands government and we are optimistic that we will continue to see similar transactions by other governments”.

Mrs McNish also expressed her gratitude to the Government of the Cayman Islands for making the settlement of its debt to the University a priority, and said that she looked forward to them keeping their account current thereafter.  She said a significant portion of the amount collected was due to the Open Campus which had been operating without adequate funding for a long time, but   continued to play a vital role in educating the people of the region.

Principal of The UWI Open Campus, Dr Luz Longsworth also commented saying, “The Open Campus is delighted by this news. The Open Campus has been working to strengthen collaboration with the Government of the Cayman Islands, particularly as it relates to building the Cayman Islands’ human resource capacity. We have commenced an initiative with the Government of the Cayman Islands to train its workforce in the areas of technology and innovation, as well as working closely with the University College of the Cayman Islands to address the tertiary education needs of the territory’s young people.”

During the November UGC meeting, the Committee which is chaired by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Mottley, the Committee also heard from a special task force commissioned to make recommendations for alternative funding models for The UWI and innovative ways to ensure its financial sustainability for the future. In addition, many governments pledged to look at the settling of some of their arrears over the coming months. Governments were also encouraged to give assets to the University in exchange for their debt.  



Note to the Editor:

Related News: The UWI considers alternative funding models: Launch of University Trust Fund on the horizon

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 and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally 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 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, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). 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. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. Times Higher Education has ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the top 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018, and was the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit


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