News Releases

New UWI Students Embark on Academic Journey with Inaugural Matriculation Ceremony

For Release Upon Receipt - September 21, 2023

St. Augustine

St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. September 21, 2023 – Come Thursday, September 28, 2023, the symbolic ‘flame of excellence’ will be lit by The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine’s Campus Principal and the President of the Guild of Students as the new cohort of students step up to the starting line of an academic adventure of learning and discovery, as they prepare to experience matriculation. The Matriculation and Welcome Ceremony for The UWI’s incoming cohort of students takes place on Thursday, September 28, 2023, at 6:00 pm at The UWI Sport and Physical Education Centre (UWI SPEC) in St. Augustine.

 Matriculation, derived from the late Latin word "matricula," meaning 'register,' is a time-honoured tradition that formally recognizes first-year students as valued members of the academic community and The UWI. In a show of solidarity, this Matriculation ceremony is held on all UWI campuses across the Caribbean as new inductees figuratively stand shoulder-to-shoulder alongside their regional colleagues. Every new cohort of students brings with it diverse perspectives and world views and a drive to challenge norms and The UWI St. Augustine Campus takes immense pride in welcoming its newest generation of ‘pelicans’.

 At its core, matriculating is comparable to the pivotal act of laying the first foundation stone of a building. And just as the first foundation stone determines the strength, alignment and direction of a structure, The UWI’s matriculation ceremony sets the tone, direction, and trajectory for a student's academic journey. In fact, one past student aptly described it as “the point where we buckle up and dive into our journey of learning, setting our sights on our goals.”

At Matriculation, all first-year students will symbolically sign the University register, recite the academic vow, and receive official recognition as members of the academic committee by the esteemed Vice-Chancellor of the University.

 In the spirit of camaraderie and academic unity, all first-year undergraduate students are required to attend Matriculation. As we embark on this momentous occasion, our commitment to nurturing talent, fostering intellectual growth, and shaping future leaders remains unwavering.


 Notes to Editor

 Upon close examination of The UWI's emblem, one will notice the distinguished presence of the Pelican perched proudly above. This brown bird serves as a poignant reminder of The UWI's deep-seated connection to the Caribbean region. This symbolic representation was initially proposed by Sir Thomas Taylor, who served as the inaugural Principal of the University College in 1949. Over time, the Pelican has evolved to become the enduring symbol of The UWI, instilling a sense of pride known as "Pelican Pride" among students, faculty, and alumni, celebrating the remarkable accomplishments of our esteemed regional University. The UWI St. Augustine Campus extends a warm invitation to all ‘pelicans’, their families, and well-wishers to share in the joy of this special occasion. Together, we look forward to a promising academic year filled with growth, discovery, and success.

 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 theWorld 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