News Releases

Celebrations to mark The UWI Five Islandsí formal opening

For Release Upon Receipt - August 30, 2019


Beginning Sunday, September 1, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) will host landmark events to mark the historic opening of its Five Islands Campus, in St. John’s, Antigua. 

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted that “this is a matter of great pride for The University of the West Indies as it continues its onward march across the Caribbean, serving the development needs of our countries.”

He added, “The UWI was created to serve all our people equally. These are difficult financial times for the region but we must not succumb to self-doubt. Rather, more than ever we must stand together.”

Formal launch activities begin with a public ecumenical service at The St. John’s Cathedral on September 1.  Dignitaries will include Antigua and Barbuda’s Governor General Sir Rodney Williams and Prime Minister Gaston Browne. Dean of The St. John’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend Ernest Flemming, will officiate at the service which starts at 4:00 P.M. with an Academic Procession comprised of principal officers of the regional university, including Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, and Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Five Islands Campus, Professor Stafford A. Griffith. A ceremonial opening of the campus in Five Islands Village will follow on September 3, at 5:00 P.M. This is an invitation-only event.

The fourth landed campus, and fifth campus of The UWI, officially began operations on August 25 and is currently registering students for programmes across three schools: Health and Behavioural Sciences; Humanities and Education; Management, Sciences and Technology.

To mark the official start of the academic year 2019-2020, Vice-Chancellor Beckles visited Antigua on August 26. He paid a courtesy call upon Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Gaston Browne, at the Office of the Prime Minister, met with senior officials in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as well as Media on the implementation plans for the Five Islands Campus.

Both events will be broadcast live on local television by the Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service, and across the region on UWItv via the FLOW network. There will also be a livestream on UWItv’s website ( and Facebook page (




Notes to Editor


Related Stories:

Statement from the Vice-Chancellor announcing the new Five Islands Campus

The UWI Vice-Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles, travels to Antigua


About The UWI

For more than 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI 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 five campuses: Cave Hill in Barbados; Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda; Mona in Jamaica; St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago; and an Open Campus. 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. The UWI was the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.

As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); 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. 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.)