In 75 years The UWI’s reputation has never been higher Vice-Chancellor Reports to University Council
The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Saturday, April 29, 2023— Annually, the business meeting of The University of the West Indies’ highest governing body, the University Council, provides an opportunity for reflection and planning forward.
This opportunity was amplified at the meeting of the University Council on Wednesday April 26, as The UWI celebrates its 75th Diamond jubilee anniversary (1948-2023).
Delivering the feature presentation, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles presented what he termed a report ‘hybrid’ in nature. “This report is at once Vice-Chancellor’s annual report to Council for the year in review 2021-2022, but inescapably, it is a reflection upon the university at 75” he said. In his report themed The UWI Brand Activist and Excellent – Fighting the Virus, Focusing the Vision, Vice-Chancellor Beckles reflected on the ongoing success of The UWI’s ten-year Strategic Plan. The first phase, 2017-2022 – focused on a Reputation Revolution; building the reputation through activity, research and engagement in the global community. “I am happy to report that at 75 our reputation as a global academy of quality has never been higher, and our visibility as a university in the Caribbean has never been greater.”
The UWI is currently in phase two of its strategic plan (2022-2027) focusing on a revenue revolution that will see the institution become financially sustainable.
Sharing the vision, Vice-Chancellor Beckles said “we believe that it is possible, in the next five years, to turn around the financial funding model of this university so that our reliance upon the public revenue will be significantly diminished. This while the university itself, through its own entrepreneurial activity will generate far more resources than it has ever done in the past.”
The Vice-Chancellor’s report to Council also detailed The UWI’s operations for the academic year 2021-2022. Highlights included the university’s outstanding internal and regional response to COVID-19; success in extending access for students within the OECS through the Five Islands campus in Antigua and Barbuda; The UWI’s impact through its global research agenda; entrepreneurial engagement at the campus level; and investments in digital transformation.
Mr. Robert Bermudez, UWI Chancellor and Council Chairman reflected on the university’s founding vision and the reality that at 75, The UWI has succeeded in becoming the intended “beacon of hope, progress, and opportunity” for the region and the world.
Looking to the future he said “we recognize that new approaches and solutions would be required to address emerging challenges and opportunities. As we focus ahead, we remain committed to advancing the cause of knowledge, discovery, and innovation.”
Representing the regional governments, The Honourable Philip Davis, KC, Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of Bahamas and Chairman of CARICOM made a special presentation to the Council marking the university’s 75th Anniversary.
He commended The UWI for remaining steadfast in its commitment to the service of the Caribbean people despite the storms the region has weathered in the past 75 years and in turn pledged continued regional support; “I am particularly proud to report that the heads of government have pledged to continue supporting the growth and advancement of the university.”
The University Council Meeting is a longstanding governance proceeding during which appointments, the management of the finances, and all major business matters are decided. The public session was chaired by University Registrar, Dr. Maurice D. Smith and broadcast live via UWItv.
Vice-Chancellor Beckles’ detailed report to the Council themed, The UWI Brand Activist and Excellent – Fighting the Virus, Focusing the Vision can be accessed at uwi.edu/vcreport.
A recording of the live broadcast of the opening segment of the Meeting of University Council can be accessed here.
The University Council is the highest governing body of The UWI with powers as prescribed in the University’s Statute 20.
The University Council is constituted by Statute 18, and consequently the decision-making authority on matters such as appointments, the management of the finances, and all business affairs of the University. Its membership comprises the Chancellor (Chair), the Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors and Campus Principals, Chairs of the Campus Councils, the Treasurer, the Chair of the Committee of Deans, the University Registrar, University Bursar, University Librarian, as well as representatives of all categories of staff; representatives of the Guild of Students; representatives of the Academic Board of other campuses; representatives of the Alumni body; representatives of the governments of The UWI’s contributing countries; representatives of Tertiary Level Institutions in the Caribbean; and nominees appointed by the Chancellor from among persons in industry, commerce, the professions, the labour movement, and other non-governmental organisations.
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 www.uwi.edu
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