Vice Chancellor's Message

The Caribbean poet Martin Carter once wrote “out of my time I carve a monument”. As UWI Vice Chancellor, proud graduate and scientist, I am often inspired by how many of my UWI colleagues have helped to craft and create monuments of change and development in our region and world.


We have thousands of iconic lecturers and graduates who have lived our University’s Mission. They have created intellectual bridges to the wider Caribbean region and global arena.


However, we have no intention of resting on our laurels. Being one of just two regional institutions of higher learning in the world, The University of the West Indies is committed to the realization of our Vision, stated in our five year strategic plan (2007-2012). With a focus on dynamic teaching and learning, research and innovation, as well as the broadening of access to tertiary education, the future is wrought with possibilities.


Our commitment extends to providing a dynamic, diverse and flexible teaching and learning environment for our students. Our Open Campus will focus on broadening regional access to our more than 800 accredited programmes through curriculum review and enhancement, the continued development of new technologies and modes of learning.


Similarly, we are intent on the strengthening of our research and innovation capacity through the creation of Centres of Excellence in research, knowledge creation and innovation. With a historical advantage, there are some key areas that have been identified. These include:

  • Biotechnology , particularly with respect to Agriculture and Horticulture;
  • The legal protection and use of Biodiversity, Natural Products and unique Genetic Resources ;
  • Cultural Studies and the development of Cultural and Entertainment Industries for tourism promotion;
  • Crime, Security and Justice ;
  • Health and Wellness , particularly as they relate to diseases impacting on Caribbean communities and the tourism product;
  • Natural Hazards Management and Disaster Risk Reduction;
  • Natural Resource and Environmental use and management , particularly as they relate to Forestry, Fisheries, Water Resources, Sustainable Tourism, Ecotourism development and CommunityWellness;
  • The feasibility, development and implementation of Alternate Energy;
  • Education , with particular emphasis on innovative approaches to Teacher Training.

We will continue to produce graduates who are critical thinkers, reflective and yet proactive; committed to life long learning and inbred with a sense of good citizenship and ethical behaviour. I would like to invite you all to join in our year long celebration across our three main campuses and UWI 12 countries as we celebrate sixty years of enlightenment and growth. I look forward to celebrating our past, as we look towards an exciting future.


Professor E. Nigel Harris

Vice Chancellor & Chair, UWI 60th Anniversary Central Planning Committee