News Releases

The UWI and CDB sign historic MoU

For Release Upon Receipt - October 22, 2018


Formalising their longstanding relationship, which spans several decades, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday, October 19.

The MoU supports a stronger partnership between the Bank and the University on programmes and projects, and is focused on promoting institutional strengthening and evidence-based decision making for economic and social policy issues relevant to the Caribbean region.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Bank’s headquarters in Barbados, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles described the CDB as a valued partner in advancing the development of the region, which is the primary mandate of the University. He said, “It is undeniable that this region is currently faced with fundamental issues of inequality, economic growth, technological advancements, democracy and social justice. At this moment the Caribbean region demands sustainable, regional solutions, birthed out of partnerships such as this one. In the conceptualisation and implementation of its current strategic plan, deemed The Triple A Strategy, The UWI’s mandate focuses on Revitalising Caribbean Development. The MoU signed today re-emphasises our commitment and dedication to advancing the well-being of our Caribbean people.” 

CDB President, Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, hailed the agreement as a vital step, which will allow for deeper collaboration and cooperation on critical issues facing the region. “With the signing of this MoU, we are cementing almost 50 years of collaboration and cooperation, broadening the strategic focus of our collaboration, and creating new pathways for deepening our relationship. CDB is energised by the opportunities it presents for knowledge-sharing, research and innovation, and is pleased to partner with The UWI in this enterprise. We look forward to strengthening our decades-long partnership and to taking our collaboration to even higher levels for the benefit of our Region,” he said.

The MoU covers shared priorities such as promoting youth development and community inclusion through sport, improving implementation capacity and developing joint training and educational programmes. CDB and The UWI have ongoing partnerships that support the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, including projects in areas such as climate adaptation and mitigation, gender equality, and education and training. In 2013, the Bank approved a USD13 million project to support the expansion and rehabilitation of The UWI’s Open Campus locations in Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It also invested in the development of UWItv and in 2018, approved funding to enhance The UWI’s new Faculty of Sport.

The MoU is also significant as The UWI celebrates its milestone 70th anniversary. Given its position as a global university rooted in the Caribbean with established centres in North America, Asia, and Africa, The UWI is intent on fostering Caribbean-focused partnerships like this one with the CDB as it seeks to maintain its leadership role in supporting the development of competitive Caribbean economies.




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. In 2018, The UWI celebrates its evolution from 1948 as a university college in Jamaica with 33 medical students to an internationally respected regional university with near 50,000 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 an 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 & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. Its 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. The UWI has been a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of our people. As the regional institution commemorates its 70th anniversary milestone, it will celebrate its students, faculty, administrators, alumni, governments, and partners in the public and private sector. The anniversary commemoration will focus on reflection as well as projection for the future with an emphasis on social justice and the economic transformation of the region. The University was also recently ranked among Times Higher Education’s top 1,258 universities in world for 2019 and was the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious list.  For more visit: and .

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


About CDB

The Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution established in 1970 for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). In addition to the 19 BMCs, CDB’s membership includes four regional non-borrowing members – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela and five non-regional, non-borrowing members; i.e., Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. CDB’s total assets as at December 31, 2017 are USD3.02 billion (bn). These include USD1.64 bn of Ordinary Capital Resources and USD1.38 bn of Special Funds. The Bank is rated Aa1 Stable with Moody’s, AA+ Stable with Standard and Poor’s and AA+ Stable with Fitch. Read more at