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About Us: History

The University of the West Indies (UWI) was founded in 1948 as the nucleus of a dream to bring “light, liberty and learning” within the reaches of the people of the Caribbean. The University grew rapidly, beyond all projections, and today is a multi-campus institution with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, and a focus on providing West Indian society with the tools for unlocking its potential for growth.

Over the last six decades, UWI has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding, higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Mont¬serrat, St Christopher (St Kills) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines.

The second campus was established in Trinidad in 1960 and in 1963 the Barbados campus was opened, with 118 students, at a temporary site near the Deep Water Harbour. In 2009, UWI launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 40 physical site locations across the region, serving over 16 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean.

UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options inEngineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences. In Barbados, affiliated to UWI, there is Codrington College which offers the Bachelor of Arts and theLicentiate in Theology of the UWI; the Caribbean Meteorological Institute which teaches the meteorology portion of theBachelor of Science with Meteorology; and the Cave Hill School of Business.

Cave Hill Site

The Cave Hill Campus in Barbados overlooks the island’s capital and principal commercial centre, Bridgetown. The scenic attractiveness and relatively small size of the university community creates an inviting, intimate and friendly atmosphere.


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