The University of the West Indies (UWI) has started 2022 celebrating two new milestones that underline the regional educational institution’s capacity to excel, and to hold its own among the best in the world.
The first new milestone: In the latest World University Rankings for 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 to be among the top 1.5%.
The University has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE) and is the only Caribbean-based University to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018.
It’s also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).
The UWI has also featured among the leading universities on The Impact Rankings for responses to the world’s biggest concerns: the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The regional university possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellects and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of the region and wider world.
The second milestone: The UWI’s Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) closed 2021 with special recognition as “The World’s Leading Tourism Initiative” at the 28th World Travel Awards (WTA) 2021 held on December 16, in Dubai.
The GTRCMC — established in 2019 — is located at The UWI’s Mona Campus, with offices in the Caribbean, Africa and the Mediterranean, with affiliates in over 42 countries.
The work of the center has focused on assisting travel and tourism organisations across the world in the management and recovery from disruptions that threaten economies and livelihoods linked to tourism.
The annual WTA event acknowledges, rewards and celebrates excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry and its awards are recognized globally as the ultimate acknowledgment of quality.
Extending congratulations on this global accolade, UWI’s Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted, “There could be no greater tangible evidence of our university’s commitment to a global outlook and actions.”
“Here we have it: yet another international honour emerging from the activation of our Triple A Strategy, and more precisely, our Alignment pillar.”
The Vice Chancellor continued, “We are clear and committed in our pledge to enable joint academic, government, and industry partnerships like these for the advancement of critical sectors here in the Caribbean, like tourism.”
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (a Co-Chair and Founder of the GTRCMC) said: “The recognition by the leading authority that recognises and rewards excellence in travel and tourism is heartfelt and highlights the outstanding work that this one-of-a-kind Centre for tourism resilience has been doing.”
GTRCMC Executive Director, Professor Lloyd Waller, said: “Since the Centre’s inception, we have been working to raise awareness, build capacity and undertake innovative initiatives in tourism resilience in several countries around the world.”
“To be honoured in this way means that we are doing something right and this is indeed motivating,” he added.
The GTRCMC fosters the development of policies to assist efforts of communities affected by disruptions due to climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, terrorism, economic shocks, political instability and other socio-economic challenges.
From an affiliate (in Jamaica ) of the University College of London, with 33 medical students in 1948, the UWI today enrolls about 50,000 students at its five campuses (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus) plus 10 global centers in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.
The UWI offers over 800 certificates, diplomas, 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.