ONE LOVE/ONE UWI #14 | Message from the Vice-Chancellor

A Series from the Vice-Chancellor

“In the short run, European racism seemed to have done Europeans no harm, and they used those erroneous ideas to justify their further domination of non-European people in the colonial epoch. But the international proliferation of bigoted and unscientific racist ideas are bound to have its negative consequences in the long run.”
[Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.]
The UWI’s Journey to The Top
Last week, The UWI marched into an historic moment. It celebrated its outstanding global university ranking results with a ceremony of recognition. The Times Higher Education (THE) University Rankings for 2020 were released this month and our beloved university recorded what we have deemed a ‘Triple Firsts’ outcome.

The UWI remains number one in the Caribbean. The UWI rocketed up the Latin American/Caribbean rankings, landing in the top 1% of the best universities from a field of over 5,000; and The UWI, in the Golden Age University category, our own cohort, between 50-80 years old, ranked in the top 1% from a field of over 10,000.

This Triple 1% performance is a special achievement worthy of full recognition. Campus principals, faculty and administrators, student leaders, all staff and select external stakeholders, joined with Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Densil Williams and me, and thanked governments, the university family, including our forebearers—whose legacy has given legs—for their excellent contributions that are reflected in the rankings.

Welcome Back; Welcome Forward
Within this celebratory context, I take the opportunity to welcome back our students into our virtual and physical classrooms in August. At the same time, we are more than enthusiastic to meet and greet our new students.

Campuses have effectively re-engineered their physical environments for face-to-face teaching within the context of public health and safety policy, specifically in respect of social distancing and high levels of hygiene engagement. The University continues to enhance the efficiency and elegance of the online teaching culture that is available to all.

This is the time to embrace university education. It is not the time to retreat. One step back is to place your future, and that of your family, community and nation on the back burner. Allow us to welcome you into the academic year 2020-2021 as COVID-19 pioneers.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles