News Releases

UWI and Missouri State sign MOU

For Release Upon Receipt - November 26, 2020


Research to begin investigating how climate and other factors affect livelihoods and wellbeing


Continuing its global strategy of critical collaboration and partnerships with world class universities, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Missouri State University (MSU) in the US to promote Sustainable Community Development, education and research.

The MOU provides a framework to broaden and deepen The UWI’s relationship with MSU, which boasts operating the highest-power university research reactor in the USA. MSU has also been working for more than a decade in Jamaica in areas such as geology, sustainable tourism, watershed/water quality management, bay bathymetry-coral reef/sea grass mapping, beach erosion-deposition trends and river response to big floods. This partnership will increase opportunities for engagement and exchange for students and faculty of both institutions.

The execution of the MOU—which is for a period of five years, effective September 2020—will be led by the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) at The UWI and the Office of International Programs at MSU. Commenting on the partnership, Coordinator of the ISD, Dr David C Smith, acknowledged that the signing “is particularly timely given the challenges being experienced in the wake of the current pandemic, climate change and severe weather events.” He added, “A range of possibilities have been under discussion for some time and are still ongoing. However, there is a strong interest in working on Sustainable Community Development and discovering how climate and other factors affect livelihoods and wellbeing.”

Work between the two Universities is expected to begin with attention on how the Sustainable Development Goals can be applied to improve human wellbeing in a rural coastal town in Jamaica. According to Dr Smith, “Guided by national COVID-19 protocols, we are in the process of determining the most reasonable course of action in the short term for all stakeholders - including the communities we work with.”




About The Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) 

The Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) hosts three UWI Units: The Centre for Policy Studies in Sustainable Development; The Centre for Environmental Management (CEM); and The Disaster Risk Reduction Centre (DRRC) and coordinates the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Caribbean (UNSDSN Caribbean) and the University Consortium for Small Island States, (UCSIS).

The ISD complements the agenda of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) in providing skilled and competent decision-makers for the sustainable development of the Caribbean region. It offers graduate programmes at the MSc, MPhil and PhD levels to strengthen policy capacity and competence in sustainable development across the region.

The Institute also builds capacity among stakeholders; provides consultancy services and community outreach; implements projects and conducts high-impact research that integrates priorities in security, energy, environmental management, economics and disaster risk management to chart a viable course for the development of resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).


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 in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. 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.)