News Releases

Vice Chancellor reports successful operations and fiscal management at UWI Council Meeting

For Release Upon Receipt - April 29, 2022


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Friday, April 29, 2022. — Members of the highest governing body and decision-making authority of The University of the West Indies, the University Council, met on Friday, April 29 for its annual review and deliberation of the regional University’s business affairs. 

The University Council Meeting is a longstanding governance proceeding during which appointments, the management of the finances, and all major business matters are decided. The public, open session of the meeting was broadcast live via UWItv. University Registrar, Dr. Maurice D. Smith welcomed attendees and introduced Chancellor, Robert Bermudez, who delivered remarks as Chairman of Council. The central feature of the proceedings was a detailed account of The UWI’s operations throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, including highlights of key achievements for the period, and projections for The UWI’s 2022-2027 strategic cycle delivered by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. 

During his presentation, themed, A Global Disruptor, Vice-Chancellor Beckles highlighted how The UWI successfully maintained its core business operations amid the social and economic challenges of the pandemic and outlined a wide range of crucial initiatives undertaken by the University in its public service to the Caribbean region. More importantly, he described in detail how the University is strategically embracing a new financial culture anchored by cost-saving measures, bankable entrepreneurial projects, backing from the grant market and international funders, as well as a business model for a new global online campus. He noted significantly that having robustly managed its budgets over the past few years towards reducing government funding, government contributions to The UWI currently stand at 48%, although the ideal would be 50%. 

Vice-Chancellor Beckles described The UWI as a “global disruptor, surging in a world of disruption in respect of higher education.” He emphasised, “The UWI is not simply a reactor to these disruptions and transformation,” but had “provided vanguard leadership to the world in terms of the disruptions necessary to fundamentally change access and quality in higher education.” 

In response to the Vice-Chancellor’s presentation, Chancellor Bermudez noted that he continues to be impressed by The UWI’s “enormous scope and range”. He added, “In all those areas, there are opportunities; opportunities in some cases for efficiency, and some cases for additional activity”. Chancellor Bermudez underscored his confidence that the University has the people and the will to continue building its global brand and manage its finances in the economic environment we live in, plagued by rising costs and inflation. 


Notes to the Editor

−        Vice-Chancellor Beckles’ detailed report to the Council themed, A Global Disruptor can be accessed at

−        A recording of the live broadcast of the opening segment of the Meeting of University Council can be accessed here. 

About the University Council

The University Council is the highest governing body of The UWI with powers as prescribed in the University’s Statute 20. The University Council is constituted by Statute 18, and consequently the decision-making authority on matters such as appointments, the management of the finances, and all business affairs of the University. Its membership comprises the Chancellor (Chair), the Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors and Campus Principals, Chairs of the Campus Councils, the Treasurer, the Chair of the Committee of Deans, the University Registrar, University Bursar, University Librarian, as well as representatives of all categories of staff; representatives of the Guild of Students; representatives of the Academic Board of other campuses; representatives of the Alumni body; representatives of the governments of The UWI’s contributing countries; representatives of Tertiary Level Institutions in the Caribbean; and nominees appointed by the Chancellor from among persons in industry, commerce, the professions, the labour movement, and other non-governmental organisations. 

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. 

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(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)