News Releases

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles receives Antigua and Barbuda’s Governor-General's highest honour

For Release Upon Receipt - December 6, 2021


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. W.I. Monday, 6 December, 2021—At an investiture ceremony held on December 4, 2021, Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, conferred the Governor General's Faithful and Meritorious Award's highest honour, the Cross and Plaque, upon Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. The Award recognises Vice-Chancellor Beckles’ 40 years of distinguished service to The UWI and the Caribbean. 

His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams described Professor Sir Hilary Beckles as “a giant of a Caribbean man who has a passion for people, a passion for progress, a passion for productivity and a passion for preserving the past treasures of the region”. The Governor-General also shared that the honour was not only well deserved, but timely since the Vice-Chancellor's 40 years of distinguished service at The UWI coincided with the celebration of Antigua and Barbuda's 40th anniversary of political independence. 

A lengthy citation, which outlined the many academic accolades and internationally recognised social contributions of Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, also identified his leadership at The UWI as a transformational one, as evidenced by the results of his Triple A management strategy of Access, Alignment and Agility. This strategy laid the foundation that led to The UWI’s recent ranking among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE), and its current standing among the top 1.5% of universities in the world.

In his response, Vice-Chancellor Beckles expressed his profound gratitude to the Governor-General for the honour. He also shared that divine intervention, the influence of his parents, mentors and his hard-working team at The UWI have all contributed to making him the West Indian man he is today.  

The ceremony took place in the Investiture Room at Government House in Antigua and Barbuda, in the presence of other distinguished guests. Among them were Antigua and Barbuda’s Acting Prime Minister, the Honourable Steadroy Benjamin, Minister of Education, Culture and The Creative Industries, the Honourable Daryll Matthew, Chair of The UWI Five Islands Campus Council, Mr. Aziz Hadeed and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The UWI Five Islands, Professor Densil Williams.



About The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region. From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global 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 its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%.

The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. For more, visit