News Releases

The UWI surpasses high reputation with new top 100 Universitiesí ranking

For Release Upon Receipt - July 3, 2020


The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is now among a list of the world’s top 100 Universities in new rankings released by Times Higher Education (THE).

On June 24, THE revealed its ‘Golden Age University Rankings’ of established higher education institutions across the world that have been around for 50 to 80 years. Based on years of existence, this category compares institutions established between 1945 and 1967, using the same criteria and methodology as the World Rankings. According to THE, “the ranking takes its name from what was a ‘Golden Age’ in global higher education, characterised by rapid university expansion and increasing investment in research.”

These results reinforce that in spite of being a relatively young institution, and having limited access to financial and development resources, in just over 70 years The UWI has successfully built a solid reputation as the higher education leader. Recently during the annual report presentation to its University Council, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted that the academy is among the best in the world and its reputation has never been higher. This latest top 100 ‘Golden Age’ ranking performance affirms The UWI’s prestige and leadership as it is now a familiar and consistent name in the Times Higher Education’s rankings, yet remains the sole Caribbean university on all the lists.

Reacting to the news, Vice-Chancellor Beckles said, “Our astounding performance in yet another ranking table beseeches the question, again—how does The UWI maintain its elite ranking located as it is, in an economy that has not seen sustained economic growth in 30 years? The answer is—our deep stakeholder commitment, focused leadership, and the power of dedicated, unwavering colleagues. It is no secret that for the greater part of its existence, The UWI has had to function with a significant measure of deficit financing as we deliver this public good, which is time and time again rated as world-class by international ranking standards. As we continue skilfully managing, we look forward to the roll out of a new financial model that will see the University soaring to even higher heights.”

Vice-Chancellor Beckles set out on a strategic path, five years ago, to globally transform The UWI’s reputation before going to markets to raise revenue. “We are now at this juncture,” he said, “and we are pleased with the outcomes to date.”

Back in April, The UWI also appeared on THE’s Impact Rankings 2020 which maps how universities are responding to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is the only global performance table that assesses universities on their research, outreach and stewardship of the SDGs. Of the 768 universities from 85 countries on the table, The UWI ranked among the top 200 for its work on SDG3: Good Health and Wellbeing; SDG5: Gender Equality and SDG13: Climate Action.

The UWI’s Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures works to strengthen the regional university’s positioning and engagement with the 2030 global development agenda. Commenting on the Impact Rankings, the Office’s Director, Dr Stacy Richards-Kennedy asserted, “This international recognition of The UWI’s contribution to advancing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development is a tribute to the hard work of our staff and students from various Faculties and Research Centres and Institutes across our five Campuses.  Since the 2015 commitment of UN member states to the SDGs, The UWI has championed the central role of universities to national and regional engagement in the global development agenda through teaching, research, advocacy and partnerships, while at the same time serving as ‘living labs’ for sustainable institutional practices.  During this UN-declared Decade of Action, The UWI will continue to intensify its efforts at leveraging its inter-disciplinary research and scientific expertise on the unique issues faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to address the multi-dimensional development challenges facing the Caribbean.”   

This Impact Rankings recognition further endorses The UWI’s advocacy on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In January 2019, the International Association of Universities (IAU) selected The UWI as a global leader in the mobilisation of higher education and research institutions for sustainable development. The IAU designated The UWI as the lead institution for a Global University Consortium on SDG 13 in recognition of its research contributions on climate change and sustainable development. The UWI’s work on SDG5 earned the spotlight in 2018, when the University launched a Gender Policy to formalise its commitment to gender justice and establish a framework for its implementation. The Policy serves as a blueprint to incorporate the issues of gender and development and to express the fundamental principles that are deemed vital to sustainable growth and development throughout the Caribbean. The UWI also scored highly on SDG3 which measures universities’ research on key diseases and conditions, their support for healthcare professions, and the health of students and staff. Its strength in this area was demonstrated and reinforced over the past few months in its leadership through science and medicine in the Caribbean region’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, described by Vice-Chancellor Beckles as “The UWI’s finest hour.”




Notes to the Editor

About the Times Higher Education’s Rankings Tables:

§  World University Rankings: provide the definitive list of the top universities globally.

§  Latin America Rankings: list the best universities in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

§  Impact Rankings: Assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

§  Golden Age University Rankings: Rank the best universities established for more than 50 years, but less than 80 years.


More on Times Higher Education’s Golden Age University Rankings:


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.)