News Releases

The UWI outlines policy for start of new academic year

For Release Upon Receipt - July 23, 2020

St. Augustine

Following a meeting of its Executive Management Team (EMT) on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has determined its policy regarding the upcoming academic year 2020/2021.

The UWI EMT resolved that the Caribbean region’s effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic—as informed by science and the observance of appropriate public health and safety protocols—provides a significant level of confidence in the reopening of the education sector. The regional University will therefore start the new academic year across its five campuses and supporting countries on schedule, on August 30, 2020.

The UWI has been working to provide a range of options which include a hybrid face-to-face and online delivery of programmes at varying levels to meet the diverse needs of its student population, guided by national protocols for health and safety; steps are being taken to maintain physical distancing in classrooms and on residence halls. In addition, students seeking to travel to a campus country are advised to pay attention to, and comply with the protocols stipulated by regional governments.

Incoming undergraduate students, emerging from CSEC and CAPE can rest assured that there is a space at The UWI where they can achieve their fullest potential. Adult learners should see the opportunity to enrol in existing programmes to retool for the restructured economies and new opportunities. The UWI is also open for business to international students, including those who may have been enrolled at other universities and wish to transfer.


Plans for the new Academic Year at the St. Augustine Campus

In a note to all staff and students on July 23, Professor Brian Copeland, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal at The UWI St. Augustine announced that the semester will begin on August 30 and teaching will commence as planned on September 7. “We plan to welcome students back to Campus for the new academic year, and we will adopt a hybrid mode of face to face and online teaching,” he said. He confirmed that detailed information on how programmes will be delivered will be shared with students in the coming weeks.

Given the current guidelines for physical distancing, the St. Augustine Campus is planning for some reduction in the physical space allocation. In order to fully comply, Professor Copeland said that the Campus will make extensive use of online materials next semester. Therefore, there will be far fewer students in person come September, but will offer a virtual student experience. “Our approach will always reflect our commitment to providing a sound academic and co-curricular experience,” he said.

Mindful of the current border closure and the impact on its regional and international students, Professor Copeland noted that Campus Leadership continues to monitor the updates from government officials. “We are considering contingencies and will be providing additional support services for the members of our community who are currently in their home countries throughout the region and further abroad, “he said.

For the new student intake, the Campus promises an exciting orientation process as its First Year Experience (FYE) programme will engage new students in a series of meaningful online activities geared towards supporting the successful transition to University life. The Campus also assured returning students that a vibrant online student community awaits with new and exciting initiatives and opportunities to be offered throughout the year.

“The aim is to ensure that our community goes beyond merely surviving during this period, but also thriving, staying connected, getting adequate support, gaining a dynamic student life, and attaining the highest levels of success at The UWI St. Augustine Campus,” added Professor Copeland. Applications for studies beginning in September close on July 31, 2020. For all information on applying, prospective students should visit




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 across 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 and 2019. The UWI is 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”)