News Releases

The UWI’s Sleeves Rolled Up

For Release Upon Receipt - June 18, 2019


Addressing the IDB forum on entrepreneurship and economic transformation on Wednesday 12 June, 2019 at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) informed regional participants that, “The UWI has its sleeves rolled up and was in the trenches with the entrepreneurial community in the effort to push our economies onto the highway of sustainable economic growth.”

Noting that “being at the centre of the economic growth agenda was the top priority for The UWI,” he commended the Government of Jamaica, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and Michael Chin of the Economic Growth Council, for pushing and promoting the matter of economic growth to a “feverish pitch” in an effort to ensure that “every citizen and all institutions come on board with an understanding that economic growth and development with social justice is a collective public movement.”

Sir Hilary placed the conversation in historical context, stating that this moment of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is “our time to be leaders and beneficiaries.” He pointed out that the people of the Caribbean were the primary victims of the First and Second Industrial Revolutions. “Our people,” he said, “over 15 million of them, were placed in chains and driven to power these global industrial movements that saw the attainment of sustainable development in the Western World.” He continued, “We have survived, and now it is our time to run like a burst pipe through the more level playing field of the digital age. We have more experience with globalisation and openness than any other region, and this cultural exposure will see us through this time as pioneers and discoverers.”

The UWI with its enormous reputation as a first class global institution has developed and is implementing a Strategic Plan (Triple A Strategy) that addresses frontally our role at this time, he concluded.


Notes to the Editor

Photo caption: DGP9850: The UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles delivers opening remarks at the Sub-Regional Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation on Wednesday 12 June, 2019 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.

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 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.)