The UWI climbs

After its excellent 2018 debut in the Times Higher Education (THE) Latin America University Rankings, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has climbed even higher in the 2019 report published by the prestigious UK-based ranking agency. The THE’s recently published rankings for the Caribbean and Latin America show the continued improvement of The UWI, as it placed 32nd among the 150 best ranked universities across Latin America and the Caribbean—compared to 37th last year.

The UWI remains the number 1 ranked university in the Caribbean. This ranking is impressive given that the region has over 200 registered universities. Furthermore, The UWI has improved its position within the top 3% of universities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Again, the ranking stands out within a network of over 2,000 registered universities.

The strong showing comes on the eve of the 2020 World University Rankings due for publication at the end of September 2019. The UWI’s performance reflects the considerably improved hemispheric recognition of the University’s research impact in multiple disciplines, the development of strategic alliances with Latin American universities, and the official recognition of its contribution to the development agenda of the subregion.

Developments in Mexico and Colombia, in particular, have seen The UWI’s visibility mushroomed. Pointedly impactful was the collaboration between Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and the President of the University of Miami, Professor Julio Frenk to constitute the leadership vanguard of a visionary project to create a Hemispheric University Consortium. The objective of the project is to connect high performing universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to rapidly expand student mobility and research collaboration across the grouping to accelerate development.

In addition, the newly created higher education organisation, Universities Caribbean, a collaborative grouping of over 40 universities from Cuba, Curaçao and Colombia to Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Haiti to Suriname, elected Vice-Chancellor Beckles as its first President. These developments served to enhance The UWI’s academic reputation, strategic partnering, and student preparation for the postmodern world.

Responding to the news of The UWI’s rise in the rankings, Vice-Chancellor Beckles stated, “We have set out on a strategic mission to radically transform and improve The UWI’s regional and international academic standing as an excellent global university rooted in the Caribbean. My colleagues are mobilised around this vision, and have worked very hard and smart as a leadership team. I am very impressed with their focus and commitment to serve The UWI and the people of the Caribbean who are deserving of excellent outcomes. This rise in our ranking reflects the efficient and effective effort of the entire UWI family to be the best it can be.”