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By Ricardo Makyn, The Gleaner

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has broken into the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the first time. The 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings has positioned the UWI among the world’s top institutions.

The rankings show that the UWI is located among the 1,258 top universities in the world for 2019. This puts the university in the elite band of the top five per cent of universities worldwide based on data showing that there are more than 25,000 recognised universities, globally. Specifically, Times Higher Education ranked the UWI at 591 out of the 1,258 universities that made the list.

The UWI is the only Caribbean institution on the world-wide list. It was also the only Caribbean university ranked earlier this year in Times Higher Education’s 2018 Latin America University Rankings in the region that is home to more than 100 universities contributing to sustainable development.

In 2015, when Vice-Chancellor Profsessor Sir Hilary Beckles took over the reins, he declared an intention to radically globalise the university and to prepare it for regional and global comparisons within the Times Higher Education rankings.

Beckles, in establishing an Office for Global Affairs and giving a remit to the redesigned Office of Strategic Planning, recognised the need for the UWI to be competitive internationally within a global sector. Beckles’ vision to have the UWI recognised within the top five per cent of the best universities in the world has now been realised.

Elated about the news, Beckles said: “The excellence of the UWI has been a well-kept secret for far too long. Now, with these very impressive global ranking results, we can begin to share with the world the story of this academic enterprise in the West Indies that highlights the intellectual achievement and scholastic contributions of the Caribbean community.”


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.