The Alignment pillar of its Triple A Strategy 2017–2022 continues to guide the University's pursuit of thoughtful and mutually beneficial partnerships and its positioning as an activist university in the consciousness of its many publics.

Acting in the service and the best interest of the people of the Caribbean and its diaspora is the raison d'être of The University of the West Indies. This region continues to be faced with significant challenges arising from its long and bloody history of colonialism, inequity, and economic disadvantages; it is therefore imperative that The UWI embrace its responsibility to be an activist university, constantly seeking to right wrongs and provide opportunities for social and economic success among its many communities.

The Alignment pillar of its Triple A Strategy 2017–2022 continues to guide the University's pursuit of thoughtful and mutually beneficial partnerships and its positioning as an activist university in the consciousness of its many publics.

By taking the cue from real-world needs, the work of the University expands beyond the walls of academia as researchers collaborate with industry leaders to bring innovative products to market, reignite the region's productivity and competitiveness, and unleash its economic potential.

Its entrepreneurial culture is creating space for faculties to manage spin-off companies and generate revenue by commercialising The UWI's expertise. Meanwhile, it is a leading voice in the global reparatory justice and climate action movements.

Adding to Our Field of Distinguished Professors of Practice

In the reporting period, The UWI continued to appoint subject matter experts to the distinguished position of Professor of Practice.

In June 2019, Dr. Sterling Frost, a senior career banker and the Deputy CEO, Operations and Administration, First Citizens and a UWI alumnus, was appointed Professor of Practice in Management Studies, attached to the Faculty of Social Sciences at the St. Augustine Campus.

In July 2019, Mr. Dodridge Miller, President and CEO, Sagicor Financial, one of the leading finance minds in the Caribbean, with more than 30 years' experience in the banking, insurance and financial services industries, was assigned to the Vice-Chancellery, The UWI Regional Headquarters as Professor of Practice in Finance.

Engaging the Private and Public Sectors

Understanding that innovation is a key driver of economic growth, the University has embraced a leadership role in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship across the region to realise this growth.

As it takes those necessary steps to become more entrepreneurial, consultations with Industry were held in the year under review in the areas of Research and Innovation; Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation; Teaching and Learning; and University and Industry Collaboration.

These engagements were spearheaded by the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research, with sessions held in Port of Spain, Trinidad; Cave Hill, Barbados; and Kingston, Jamaica. A specific session also targeting the countries served by the Open Campus was earmarked for the new academic year.

Arising out of the consultations were key agreements on areas such as the need for greater alignment between The UWI and industry; more industry-relevant projects; and greater research collaboration between industry and The UWI, where industry can influence the research agenda. A robust database of industry partners has also been established to assist in various development activities as The UWI's entrepreneurial thrust continues and its ecosystem is built out.

Partnering for Development

Universities Caribbean: One Caribbean Solutions
On Friday, June 14, 2019, The UWI Regional Headquarters was the venue for “One Caribbean Solutions”, a yearly symposium convened by Universities Caribbean, formerly the Association of Caribbean Universities and Research Institutes (UNICA). The main objective of this annual forum is to create awareness among rectors and presidents of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and other stakeholders of the important role that universities play in the advocacy for finding practical solutions to challenges faced by the Caribbean and Latin American region.

The 2019 edition of the symposium, organised in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), sought to develop sub-regional policy dialogue on science, technology and innovation.

This collaboration between the regional organisation of universities and the development bank offered an exchange platform to economic, political and academic leaders across the Caribbean and Latin America to discuss their role in developing innovative entrepreneurship in the Caribbean and facilitating sustainable development in small nation states.

The symposium allowed participants to discuss the concept of the Caribbean as one space with a focus on issues significant to the region: education and access to accreditation and recognition, cultural economy, the blue economy, regional security, public health, and entrepreneurship, among other relevant topics. Universities Caribbean, which is led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles as its President, aims to create more opportunities for academics to engage with practitioners to build strategies to implement One Caribbean solutions.

IDB Sub-Regional Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation

The Sub-Regional Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation in Kingston, Jamaica in June 2019 was organised in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Development Bank of Jamaica and sought to engage Caribbean policymakers, tertiary level educational institutions and private sector stakeholders in conversations on how to strengthen ecosystems that support dynamic entrepreneurship and innovation in the Caribbean and Latin America. It culminated in the symposium held at The UWI, themed “One Caribbean Solutions”, which further interrogated the role that universities play in advocacy for the region.

CARPHA on Caribbean Health Policy

The UWI and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) signed a five-year MOU formalising a partnership towards improved research and training on public health priorities affecting people in the region.

It represented an important aspect of the 30th Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM on February 26, 2019.

The intention is to deepen the relationship between these two institutions, leading to a more efficient use of research evidence to inform clinical and health- related policy and practice in CARICOM.

Since CARPHA's inception in 2013, The UWI has been a partner on projects such as the region's response to major public health threats like Zika, Chikungunya, Dengue and today's COVID-19 pandemic; Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs); climate change and health; and the comprehensive Evidence Informed Decision Making Network (EvIDeNCe), a continuously updated repository for Caribbean health research and policy-related documents.

Mexico Chair at The UWI Mona

Through the MOU signed in May 2016 between The UWI and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID), a Mexico Chair was created at The UWI Mona to strengthen cooperation in the fields of education and research in five subject areas: history; political sciences; arts or Mexican culture; and science and technology.

Under this MOU, the Mona Campus hosted visiting professor Dr. Ruben Olachea Perez during the academic year 2018/2019.

Dr. Olachea was attached to the Department of History and the Department of Modern Languages in the Faculty of Humanities and Education in 2018 and completed a successful tenure. Reports of the success of that visiting professorship sparked great interest in other Latin American countries and their diplomatic missions in Kingston explored with the Latin American Caribbean Centre Director, Ambassador Gillian Bristol, ways in which their countries might also facilitate a similar programme. Those discussions are still evolving as national economic and political issues have affected implementation.

The Mexico Chair furthers the achievement of the goals of the UWI Strategic Plan as it relates to the internationalisation of The UWI and greater access through professor mobility, joint research and knowledge sharing.

University Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures

The current global development agenda is anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—17 ambitious and inter-connected goals that seek to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Universities play a critical role in the advancement of the SDGs through research that stimulates new knowledge, innovation and development solutions; teaching and student engagement; as well as advocacy, public outreach and leadership.

In 2019, the Office of Development was retitled the University Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures. This reflects the University's increased focus on the delivery of the SDGs by re- calibrating and aligning its teaching, research, advisory services and advocacy to facilitate greater application of transdisciplinary research and innovation.

The Office is committed to bolstering UWI's contribution to advancing the implementation of the 2030 development agenda in the Caribbean by strengthening linkages between the University and multilateral development partners and deepening the University's engagement with regional and national development processes.

Leadership of SDG 13 (Climate Action) within the International Association of Universities' (IAU) Global Cluster on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD)

Launched in November 2018, the IAU's Global Cluster on HESD promotes the role of higher education institutions in building more sustainable societies. Within this Cluster, the IAU leads efforts on SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Global Goals) while universities lead each of the other 16 SDGs. The Office coordinates UWI's leadership on SDG 13 and facilitates participation in the Cluster by working on multiple levels.

In January 2019, the IAU held the first workshop of the Global Cluster at UNESCO in Paris. The UWI was represented by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; Professor John Agard, Director, St. Augustine Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy, Director, University Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures.

The Global University Consortium (GUC) on SDG 13 led by The UWI was officially established in March 2019 and includes ten satellite universities across five continents:

  • University of Witwatersrand
  • University of Ghana
  • University of Waterloo
  • State University of New York
  • University of Bergen
  • University of Bristol
  • TERI School of Advanced Studies
  • University of the South Pacific
  • University of Aruba
  • Universidad de Los Andes

GUC members meet monthly to share information, coordinate work programmes, identify opportunities for collaboration and better understand institutional approaches to sustainability. A knowledge management platform to strengthen the work of the GUC on SDG 13 has also been developed in collaboration with The UWI Open Campus and is accessible at: https://www.

On July 12, 2019, the GUC on SDG 13 in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs, hosted a symposium entitled “Research & Innovation 4 Climate Action” at the UN Secretariat, New York. This symposium was convened as one of the side events associated with the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF). In keeping with the HLPF's 2019 focus on reviewing SDGs including Goals 4 – Quality Education, 13 – Climate Action and 17 – Partnerships for the Global Goals, The UWI organised the participation of Consortium members to feature the cutting-edge research being undertaken by universities in different regions to combat climate change.

A few days earlier, on July 10, Dr. Richards-Kennedy served as a lead discussant on a HLPF SIDS panel entitled “Perspectives of Small Island Developing States”, which provided the opportunity to highlight the work of the regional university in contributing to advancing SDG 4 (Quality Education) in the Caribbean.

New and expanding partnerships

The Office facilitated several development initiatives in the review period:

  • Policy Dialogue on Masculinity and Gender Relations in the Caribbean (April 11–12, 2019) and a series of IDB - commissioned UWI research studies with the IGDS, UWI St. Augustine Campus, SALISES and IGDS, UWI Cave Hill; and School of Education, UWI St. Augustine, which underpinned the Policy Dialogue.
  • Policy Dialogue on Promoting Dynamic Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean Region (June 12–14, 2019), organised by the IDB, Development Bank of Jamaica and The UWI. It focused on strengthening ecosystems that support dynamic entrepreneurship and innovation in the Caribbean region; advancing the Blue Economy; the role of higher education in entrepreneurship development and issues critical to fostering one-Caribbean development solutions.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Blue Talk (May 27, 2019). Hosted at The UWI Cave Hill Campus, it brought together leading innovators in the field to engage with the public on the unique opportunities presented by the Blue Economy.

In addition, the Office provided project execution oversight and strategic donor relations management for CDB-funded projects including:

  • The preparation of a Comprehensive Sport for Development Initiative for the New Faculty of Sport of UWI (US$210,000)
  • Enhancement of UWItv Regional Project (US$130,000).

The Office also mobilised resources for key strategic initiatives including:

  • CDB's approval for US$500,000 dedicated to equipping the UWI China Institute of Information Technology under the UWI Open Campus Development Project
  • Funding dedicated by CDB to the One UWI Digital Transformation Project (over US$100,000 approved to date)
  • Customised training in Procurement Management for the Office of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago (US$35,000), which was commissioned and delivered by The UWI Open Campus
  • CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) grant funding to support the preparation of a Strategy to Strengthen the Higher Education Ecosystem in the Eastern Caribbean. This study articulates a pathway to increased access to tertiary education for persons living in the Eastern Caribbean.


UWItv continues to provide public information services, education and training programmes that reflect the roles and responsibilities of The UWI as the premier intellectual engine of the region. The primary objective of UWItv is to present critical analyses of the common issues, concerns and socio-economic priorities in our region and the wider Caribbean diaspora. During the period under review, UWItv embarked on a series of objectives that are strategically synced with The UWI's Triple A Strategy.

In 2016, UWItv established a partnership arrangement with the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), which catered for UWI- generated content to be aired for six hours daily. This partnership proved uniquely advantageous for The UWI, and laid the foundation for the UWItv's transition to a full 24-hour cable TV channel in 2019.

Its channel, available on the Flow Evo network, covering 15 Caribbean markets, is complemented by active and popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Through these, UWItv facilitates ongoing dialogue with students, alumni and youth across the Caribbean and the world. Among its social media accounts, UWItv's official Facebook page has the largest following with over 15,000 likes and is strategically utilised to enhance visibility, reach and access to the UWItv's content, campus events and happenings. The 'One UWI News' on the UWItv's website,, aggregates and integrates the daily announcements of events and activities on all five campuses.

UWItv continued to facilitate the broadcasting of livestreamed videos, recorded videos, public lectures, conferences, symposia, faculty interviews and other pertinent events and activities hosted across The UWI system. Similarly, UWItv serviced the needs of government, non-governmental and international actors through numerous strategic arrangements and negotiated media partnerships with the following agencies that were built and/or maintained during the review period. They are:

  • United Nations (UN)
  • The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
  • Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
  • Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)
  • LIAT

UWItv provided a vital platform for these entities to more effectively engage in their public education and service mandates. In particular, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) partnership in 2018 confirmed UWItv as a media partner for the CDB and provided an additional platform for UWItv, and by extension The UWI, to expand its regional and international reach through CDB's extensive network. UWItv also worked closely with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to host a series entitled ECCB Connects, which is an outreach initiative for the group of eight island economies namely – Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

UWItv's international collaborations have also enlarged the university's global footprint. One of the most significant partnerships that has raised the profile of The UWI was the broadcast arrangement between UWItv and the United Nations (UN) in May 2019, which allows for the use of UN broadcast material that includes free- to-air content for television broadcast across the region, the United States and Canada.

Among the projects that UWItv provided media service included:

  • The United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) – Blue Talk
  • The launch of the United Nation's Blue Economy Conference
  • The 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
  • Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Annual News Conference
  • Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Connects
  • The Inauguration of the CCJ's Third President – Caribbean Supreme Court (CCJ)

Some notable content aired during the 2018-2019 review period included coverage of:

  • The MOU signing for the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research
  • CCJ Hearing on Landmark Cases – Guyana Elections Commission
  • The Opening Ceremony of the 40th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting
  • The Town Hall Meeting at the 40th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting
  • The Closing Press Conference of the 40th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting
  • Media conference on The UWI Five Islands Campus, Antigua and Barbuda
  • The Blue Talk Barbados with the UNDP

Lumin Consulting: A Regional Technology Extension Service Provider

In 2018–2019, Lumin UWI Consulting strategically pursued projects and partnerships that have a direct and positive impact on The UWI's bid to be increasingly more agile. One such project involved Lumin UWI Consulting's successful negotiation with the Inter-American Development Bank's Compete Caribbean Programme to have The UWI engaged as one of three technology extension service providers in the region.

Technology Extension Services (TES) are a type of government policy used to accelerate the pace at which small and medium sized enterprises catch up with more advanced firms by a transfer of knowledge about best practices, particularly cutting-edge technologies for their specific sectors. It is a strategic public investment in technological diffusion through on-site, specialised technical assistance. The benefit of TES with respect to other innovation policy tools is that it is cost efficient given the size of the investment per firm; offers quick wins by implementing innovations already proven to be effective in other markets, and is impactful in terms of improving productive efficiency and competitiveness of SMEs.

The Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF), the Organisation of American States (OAS), and Small Business Development Centres (SBDCs) have collaborated to implement a pilot that will test a regional TES delivery framework targeting Caribbean SMEs in the agro-processing and tourism sectors with high growth potential, with a special focus on women-owned firms. The main actors include eligible Caribbean firms; local business support organisations (BSOs) and Small Business Development Centres (SBDCs); technology extension service providers (TSPs); and financial 60 institutions from the Caribbean region. Key outputs will include business potential assessments (BPAs), technology audit plans (TAPs), and the technology assistance reports (TARs).

The services provided by the pilot will be demand driven and will pay particular attention to supporting increased adoption of digital technologies and technologies that improve environmental and energy management practices. Ultimately, the pilot seeks to improve understanding on the following elements:

  • The demand for TES amongst Caribbean firms
  • The supply capacity of the region's technology services providers
  • The impact of TES on firm productivity, efficiency, revenue and competitiveness in targeted markets
  • The likely return on investment for a Caribbean- based TES programme.

In the pilot project, Lumin conducted a complete audit of all The UWI's campuses by the first quarter of 2019, with particular emphasis paid to the Faculties of Science and Technology and the Natural Sciences to assess capacity for testing services using professional consulting networks, researchers, centres and institutes and faculty laboratory facilities. A proposal was then submitted to IDB Compete Caribbean recommending that The UWI has the capacity to support regional SMEs through the provision of the following services on a commercial basis across the campus territories:

  • Adoption of industry 4.0 technology such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, 3-D printing, virtual reality, big data, etc.
  • Food safety, ergonomics, waste management, compliance, energy efficiency, etc.
  • Information technology: assessment and requirements/specifications for computer software/ packages related to accounting, reservation, order entry, payment, scheduling, inventory, e.g. MRP II and ERP.
  • Sourcing and matching for technology, suppliers or vendors. Support for outsourcing contracts and establishing service level agreements (SLAs) with technology providers.
  • Lean operations and quality improvement – certification to standards such as ISO 9000, TS 16949, ISO 13485 and ISO/IEC 17025.

The UWI will benefit directly from immersion in the business community, identifying key constraints to growth and developing technology driven solutions to stimulate private sector-led growth and development. Additionally, The UWI will benefit from internal capacity building across its campuses in order to equip internal teams to provide these services on a commercial basis. The consultancy is estimated to begin during the first quarter of 2020 and continue over a duration of eight months.

This project pulls the UWI eco-system together in a coherent framework, builds internal capacity, coordinates administration under Lumin and creates region- wide impact in a sector that is valuable to regional governments and industry players.

The pilot project is designed to finance 75 technical audits and 50 technical interventions. It is estimated that 200 business diagnostics will be conducted in the eligible countries to identify 75 firms with high growth potential.

The model used for the development and marketing of this project is underway in the areas of student services and career placement, and startup development.

A Leading Advocate for 1.5 to Stay Alive Agenda

The Caribbean region is under constant threat from the fallout from global warming. According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5 Report, released in October 2018, global temperatures are expected to reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030.

As an activist university, The UWI has been leading the discourse within the region and globally, calling upon leaders, particularly policy makers, technocrats, private sector and civil society, to act swiftly on the 1.5 to Stay Alive agenda and the options for enhancing resilience.

Further, a recent study co-authored by The UWI's academics and published in Science suggests that investment in these instruments of climate awareness and responsibility will redound to financial well-being, as any related expenditure would be significantly lower than the costs of recovering from the results of climate- related events such as hurricanes and flooding.

The University therefore continues to highlight the high risk faced by small island and low-lying states such as ours in the Caribbean, advocating mitigation methods, and adopting strategies to enhance resilience.

The Climate Action-Reparatory Justice Crossroad

As the global reparatory justice movement takes shape as the greatest political movement of the 21st century, The UWI affirms its commitment to greater advocacy and consciousness-raising.

The scientific evidence points to the Caribbean as the place where there is the greatest “local harm caused by global warming.”The Caribbean climate change discourse is, however, a relevant conversation about reparatory justice—as inherited colonialism, which has gone unrepaired, has resulted in a cocktail of community vulnerability and structural exposure to nature. Today's existential crisis of environment entrapment results from the legacies of the Crimes against Humanity represented by slavery and colonialism. Furthermore, global warming has released from their natural habitats viruses and bacteria, affecting public health in vulnerable communities. The mobility of such pathogens, causing mass exposure to respiratory infections and non-communicable diseases, has seen the African people of the Caribbean classified by these criteria as the sickest peoples in the world.

Thus, there is an interconnected call in the Caribbean bringing together the demand for support for climate resilience within the reparations framework.