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The UWI pays respects on the passing of HM, Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth

The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Friday, September 9, 2022. —The following statement is issued by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies on behalf of the university community.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) wishes to pay respect on the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

The University’s relationship with Her Majesty and the royal family has deep historic roots. It was established in 1948 by Royal Charter that authorised the granting of degrees. In 1950, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone served as the University’s first Chancellor. In 1953, Her Majesty became the University’s ‘Visitor’ (final appellate tribunal) and occupied this status until 2019, when she so graciously agreed to the University’s request to have it filled by a Caribbean jurist.

The University was honoured to have hosted Her Majesty in 1953 at the Mona campus during her maiden tour of the Commonwealth Caribbean. Her subsequent visits to the University in 1975 and 1994 were significant events and remembered with fondness.

On behalf of the university community, I offer condolences to the royal family, the government and people of Great Britain, and citizens of the Commonwealth.


About The UWI

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 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.

For more, visit (Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)