(The UWI Press Release), September 27, 2018—The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has broken into the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for the first time. The 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings has ranked The UWI among the world’s top institutions. The rankings show that The UWI is located among the 1,258 top universities in world for 2019. This puts The UWI in the elite band of the top 5% of universities worldwide based on data showing that there are over 25,000 recognised universities, globally. Specifically, Times Higher Education ranked The UWI at 591 out of the 1,258 universities which 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 THE’s 2018 Latin America University Rankings, in the region that is home to over 100 universities contributing to sustainable development.
In 2015, when Vice-Chancellor Professor 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 THE’s rankings. This required the considerable mobilising of the evidence relevant to its academic legacy and current strategic agenda as a strategic project. Vice-Chancellor 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. The Vice-Chancellor’s vision to have The UWI recognised within the top 5% of the best universities in the world has now been realised.
Elated about the news, Vice-Chancellor 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.”
Regarded as the definitive list of the top universities, THE’s World University Rankings is the only global university performance table to judge research-intensive universities across their core missions of teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation), international outlook (staff, students and research); citations (research influence); industry income (knowledge transfer). The 70-year-old regional university, which is relatively young among its counterparts in the World Rankings, scored in the top 10% of universities (#290) for its international outlook and in the top 30% (#370) for research influence.
The UWI’s exceptional performance in the 2018 Latin America University Rankings and now the 2019 World University Rankings demonstrates a series of deliberate strategic initiatives advanced by the implementation of the University’s five-year strategic plan for 2017-2022. Themed the Triple A Strategy, the plan is centred around widening Access to quality tertiary education, greater Alignment of The UWI with academic-industry partnerships relevant to the region’s needs and Agility and alertness in engaging global connections and possibilities.
About the THE World University Rankings
Now in its 15th year, the THE World University Rankings is the definitive list of the top universities globally. The 2019 edition includes a total 1,258 institutions across 86 countries. It is the only global university performance table to judge research-intensive universities across each one of their core missions: teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation), international outlook (staff, students and research); citations (research influence); industry income (knowledge transfer). Thirteen carefully calibrated performance indicators are used to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons – trusted globally by students and their families, academics, university leaders, industry and governments. The rankings are independently audited by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and is the only global university rankings to be subjected to full, independent scrutiny of this nature. Full 2019 World University Rankings methodology is available here: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/methodology-world-university-rankings-2019.