News Releases

UWI St. Augustine shares updates on teaching and examinations

For Release Upon Receipt - May 5, 2020

St. Augustine

“We have taken up the challenge to ensure our obligations to you, our students, are fulfilled,” said Professor Brian Copeland, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies’ (The UWI) St. Augustine Campus at a virtual town hall meeting with hundreds of students on April 23. The two-hour session, streamed on YouTube, was moderated by Campus Registrar Dr. Dawn Marie De-Four Gill. Last Wednesday, April 29, the campus also hosted a similar town hall meeting with all teaching staff.

In the town hall meetings, Professor Copeland, accompanied by several university administrators including Deputy Principal Professor Indar Ramnarine, went on to address academic matters related to remote teaching and learning, examinations, and even graduation. He thanked the students and teaching staff for their dedication, commitment, perseverance, and support in the unprecedented times, before noting some of the ways the campus has evolved over the past few months — including the shift by the 17,000-plus students to solely virtual learning, and the many employees who are working from home to support the ongoing operations of the Campus. 

Among the key updates shared were the following:


  • The Semester II examination period will continue, but no venue-based examinations will be written during this time. The Campus will, instead, make use of alternative assessment formats for this examination period. Lecturers and Course Coordinators will advise students on the type of assessment that would replace examinations for each course.
  • Assessments will take place asynchronously, meaning that students will be given a particular time period, anywhere between 24 hours, up to two weeks and in very few cases, up to one month to complete assessments (depending on the programme of study). The decision to administer asynchronous assessment was taken to ensure that students are given adequate time to complete assessments, taking into account current realities.
  • All financial holds will be removed from students' accounts until the last day of examinations, June 19, 2020. This hold, known as an Accounts Receivable (AR) Hold, prevents registration, access to grades and transcripts.
  • As efforts are made to continue to safeguard the health and safety of the campus community, consideration will be given to continuing in a remote delivery format for the summer semester. Further information will be provided in due course regarding whether the summer session will include offerings from various Faculties, or whether it will be limited to Senate approved programmes with a third term (summer session), supplemental exams (where applicable) and re-sits (in keeping with prevailing Faculty and University regulations).
  • Exceptions may be made to virtual delivery, if current restrictions are lifted, for clinical placements, internships, laboratory settings, clinics, clerkships, and other kinds of in-person field learning. Priority will be given to programmes that require summer session courses to complete the requirements for the award of a degree.
  • The Examinations Section of the Registry is working on processing the award of degrees for students who have completed the requirements for the award of a degree and are awaiting such awards. For all other students approaching completion in Semester II and summer, once final assessments are completed, the Section is working with Faculties to ensure that the process continues – inclusive of the upload of marks, finalising grades and eventually, the award of the degree.
  • The submission deadline for research projects/practicums/research papers for taught master’s degrees has been automatically extended to December 18, 2020. Additionally, the Office for Graduate Studies and Research continues to receive and process electronic copies of relevant documents related to the submission of documents for research degrees: (MPhil/PhD).
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate applications for the 2020/2021 Academic Year remain open, with a current deadline of July 10, 2020. Prospective students can access and complete the relevant online application form at Applicants can scan and email supporting documents to (postgraduate applications) or to or (undergraduate applications).


Meanwhile, the Campus continues to support the national COVID-19 efforts. Professor Copeland highlighted the work of the Faculty of Medical Sciences with COVID-19 testing and contact tracing as well as the Faculty of Engineering’s ongoing efforts with private sector partners to drive the manufacture of respirators, ventilators and other medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) for the COVID-19 response. 

In ending the sessions, the Campus Principal invited students and teaching staff to continue to collaborate with UWI in shaping the post COVID-19 future. “(Join us in) defining the approaches to meet those scenarios to make sure that our society survives and that the university continues to support the society going forward,” he said.


About The UWI St. Augustine Campus and COVID-19

The UWI St. Augustine Campus continues to monitor the global developments with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The health, wellness and safety of all students and staff remains priority and we are committed to keeping the campus community informed of important changes, based on the latest public health guidelines applicable to Trinidad and Tobago. To learn more, visit the Campus COVID-19 website at

Regionally, The UWI COVID-19 Task Force aims to leverage the University's knowledge and experts to assist the Caribbean in its readiness and response to the virus outbreak, mindful that the region's best defence is a coordinated and collaborative approach. Learn more at

About The UWI

For over 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 five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean 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; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

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. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019. The UWI has been 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.)