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For Release Upon Receipt - Monday, December 3, 2018

Vice-Chancellor urges Awards for Excellence winners to continue outstanding work

The UWI Regional Headquarters Jamaica. November 29, 2018—Among its many achievements for 2018, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) celebrated the service and successes of its academic, senior administrative and professional staff members on October 29. Climate Scientists, a Marijuana Decriminalisation Advisor, and innovators in teaching, research, and public service were among those recognised at the 2017/2018 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence held at the Mona Campus’ Visitors’ Lodge and Conference Centre in Jamaica.

The awardees were Dr. Helen Trotman-Edwards, Department of Child and Adolescent Health, Mona Campus; Dr. Srinivasa Popuri, Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Cave Hill Campus; Professor John Ayotunde Isola Bewaji, Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy, Mona Campus; Professor Wendel Abel, Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, Mona Campus; Professor Ian Boxill, Centre for Tourism and Policy Research, Mona Campus; the Regional Climate Science Initiative (RCSI) Project, Climate Studies Group, Department of Physics, Mona Campus; the International Fine Cocoa Innovation Centre (IFCIC) Project, Cocoa Research Centre, St. Augustine Campus; and the Global to Local Caribbean Socio-Economic Climate Change (Adaptation and Mitigation Scenarios) (GoLoCarSce) Project, Department of Life Sciences, St. Augustine Campus.

In his remarks, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles congratulated the recipients for their “persistence in excellence”. He referred to the University’s stellar achievements throughout the year, particularly noting its 70th anniversary milestone and place among the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. He urged awardees to continue their outstanding work, adding, “These rankings that reflect our excellence are not meant to constitute a mirror within which we gaze and celebrate ourselves. They are meant to give us confidence for the next 30 years as we move to our centenary.”

Vice-Chancellor Beckles also spoke about The UWI’s evolution as an entrepreneurially driven institution. He said that in a bid to develop alternative models to boost financial stability, the University is working, “to move the excellence of its research into the commercial space, and has given each faculty and department a remit to have spin-off companies to take their research to market.”

He stated further, that the University had begun talks with the UK’s University of Coventry, “which has established its reputation in Britain as the number one university for industry, academic partnership and the commercialization of university research,” towards the creation of a soon-to-be-launched UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry and Academic Partnerships.”


VC Awards Web-12-3-2018.jpgProfessor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, (4th from the right) with the 2017/2018 recipients of the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence at The UWI, Mona Campus on October 29, 2018.

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The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

More about The UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence programme was established in 1993 by Sir Alister McIntyre, then Vice-Chancellor, to recognise outstanding achievements by academic staff members in the areas of Teaching, Research, Service to the University Community, Contribution to Public Service, and All-round Excellence in a combination of two or more of the areas. In 2003, the recognition scheme was expanded to include senior administrative and professional staff, and in 2012 the Vice-Chancellor’s Departmental Award for Excellence was introduced to recognise departments and units in the area of Quality Assurance Excellence. In 2016/2017, two new awards were added for Excellence in Multi-Campus Research Collaboration (the One UWI Award) and Excellence in International Collaboration (the Globalisation Award). Awards for Excellence ceremonies are rotated among The UWI campuses. The 2018 ceremony at The UWI Mona Campus took the total of prestigious Awards to 134. The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence is one of the highlights on the University’s calendar, and takes on added significance under the leadership of current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who was one of the very first recipients of the inaugural Award.

About The UWI

For the past 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region. In 2018, The UWI celebrates its evolution from 1948 as a university college in Jamaica with 33 medical students to an internationally respected regional university with near 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. Its seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. The UWI has been a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of our people. As the regional institution commemorates its 70th anniversary milestone, it celebrates its students, faculty, administrators, alumni, governments, and partners in the public and private sector. The anniversary commemoration centres on reflection as well as projection for the future with an emphasis on social justice and the economic transformation of the region. Website: and


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