News Releases

CDB backs UWI as Caribbean Digital Transformation Epicenter

For Release Upon Receipt - February 8, 2023


 Team UWI and Team CDB gather at The UWI's Regional Headquarters in Jamaica for the project launch ceremony for The UWI-CDB Digital Transformation Programme held on Monday, February 6. Front row, l-r: Professor Lloyd Waller, Professor of Digital Transformation, Policy, and Governance, The UWI, Brigitte Collins, University Chief Information Officer, The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Dr. Martin Baptiste, Division Chief, Social Sector Division, CDB and Andrea McNish, University Bursar/ Chief Financial Officer, The UWI.

 The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Wednesday, February 8, 2023 — “The University of the West Indies must become, and will become the digital transformation epicenter of The Caribbean. That is where we're going.”

 This declaration from Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles was made during the project launch ceremony for The UWI-CDB Digital Transformation Programme held on Monday, February 6 at the University’s Regional Headquarters in Jamaica.

 The UWI is advancing its digital transformation as part of Phase II of its Triple A Strategic Plan: The Revenue Revolution, which focuses on the conversion of the University’s reputational value into much-needed revenue through the strategic use of digital technologies.

 Vice-Chancellor Beckles explained, that the programme, led by Professor of Digital Transformation, Policy, and Governance Lloyd Waller, is more than digital technologies. “Rather it is the impact that the mobilisation of those technologies will have on The UWI’s core business—teaching, learning, research, efficient administration and efficiency that facilitates doing more at a lower cost, generating savings in the process, also generating revenue,” he said.

 Continuing its longstanding relationship with the University, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has come on board as the official partner for The UWI’s Digital Transformation Programme. Speaking at Monday’s launch ceremony, Vice-President of Operations at the CDB, Isaac Solomon, noted that through its support of the programme, the Bank is keen to strengthen decades of mutually beneficial collaboration with The UWI, as it seeks to maintain a leadership role in higher education for the benefit of the region.

"For us at CDB, advancing the digital transformation of UWI is critical for operational effectiveness, increased access to programmes, expansion of services, and continued competitiveness in the existing COVID-19 period and beyond,” said Solomon.

 The CDB Vice-President highlighted several factors which, he stated underscored the necessity and relevance of the digital transformation project.

 “Increasing enrolment across The UWI also requires optimising online learning opportunities, as the shift to digital education delivery leverages technology to reduce the economic cost of tertiary education at The UWI for students in borrowing member countries. In addition, digital transformation is central to expanding the internationalisation of UWI programmes—a key strategic goal to diversify the university’s revenue base. The UWI Digital Transformation Project is therefore timely and necessary as it provides the University with the opportunity to push towards the institutional transformation needed to expand its reach as a global university and enhance the UWI brand as an institution of excellence in the Caribbean.  The project is also designed to encourage innovative teaching and learning, particularly for more vulnerable and marginalised communities within our regional space,” he stated.

 Vice-Chancellor Beckles also emphasized, “We are not just a university planning its own trajectory. We are ensuring that The UWI remains among the best universities in the world, which is where we are located right now, and serving the people of this region. The UWI way has always been to articulate and integrate the interests of the institution with the interests of the region.”

 He noted that over decades The UWI had built up a team of ICT technologists and thinkers that is unparalleled in this region. “We are confident as a university in the intellectual and technical capacity of our ICT team. It is that team, currently led by University Chief Information Officer, Brigitte Collins, that's enabled us to survive and soar above the impact of COVID-19. So we are underway with this digital transformation programme and we are able to do this with confidence because we have the internal capacity to do so, and also because we have a reliable and trustworthy strategic partner in the CDB.”


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 for the past 75 years.

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 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). 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 in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 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.

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University.

 Learn more at