News Releases

The UWI celebrates Prime Ministers Gonsalves and Mottley on their recent international accolades

For Release Upon Receipt - July 26, 2022


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Tuesday, July 26 2022. The University of the West Indies (The UWI) proudly celebrates Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves and Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley who both recently received international recognition for their leadership and influence.

On May 26, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves was conferred the Order of José Martí by President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel.  The date marked the thirtieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba.  The award is named after José Martí, a former nationalist, poet, philosopher, essayist, journalist, translator, professor, and publisher, who is considered a Cuban national hero because of his role in the liberation of his country from Spain. The Order of José Martí is the country’s highest national award. Prime Minister Gonsalves has been a firm activist for the inclusion of Cuba in hemispheric forums. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI stated, “It is an honour that is well deserved to our distinguished alumnus, Prime Minister Gonsalves. The UWI applauds his unyielding efforts to promote Caribbean unity and persistence in nurturing strong relations within Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as his commitment to being a loyal ally to our Cuban neighbours.”

Prime Minister Mottley was lauded by the global media brand, Time on its TIME100: The Most Influential People of 2022 list. The publication annually recognises the world’s pioneers, leaders, titans, innovators, and icons. To celebrate this year’s laureates, Time published five worldwide covers in May, each highlighting a member of the TIME100, and Prime Minister Mottley was selected for the cover representing influential leaders. 

In the rationale for the Prime Minister’s inclusion on the list, Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation reflected on her staunch advocacy for the Caribbean at COP 26 held in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021, and described her as “an embodiment of our conscience, reminding us all to treat our planet and therefore one another with love, dignity, and care…”

Offering congratulations on behalf of the regional university, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted that “The region salutes Prime Minister Mottley’s advocacy on climate change and the clarion call she has sounded, urging world leaders to do more to limit the potential catastrophic impacts for the Caribbean. Her service as Chair of the World Bank and on the International Monetary Fund’s Development Committee has also left an indelible impact and we continue to be in awe of her leadership and charisma,” he said.


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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