UofG and UWI signing MoU


We have agreed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The University of the West Indies following a recommendation in our Report into Historical Slavery, thought to be the first report of its kind in the United Kingdom. Signing ceremonies took place this summer in both Jamaica and Glasgow.

The Report, which we published in September 2018, acknowledged that whilst our university played a leading role in the abolitionist movement in the 18th and 19th centuries, we did also receive significant financial support from people whose wealth derived, in part, from slavery.


Together with The University of the West Indies we are forging an academic partnership which will include the establishment of the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research. The Centre, co-located in Glasgow and the Caribbean, will help to raise public awareness about the history of slavery and its impact around the world, and will host events and activities, sponsor research work, and coordinate academic collaborations with other universities.

Over the next two decades, we have committed to raising and spending £20m as part of our programme of reparative justice. We will allocate some resources to support the running of the Centre, scholarships, research, public engagement, and related initiatives. Together with The University of the West Indies, we will work to attract external funding for mutually agreed projects that will benefit the communities of the Caribbean islands and other parts of the world affected by the slave trade.

Following the signing of the MoU in Glasgow on the 23rd August, our Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, said: “We are delighted to both sign this truly historic Memorandum of Understanding with The University of West Indies and it is fitting that we do so on the UNESCO day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade. Talking about any institution’s or country’s historical links to slavery can be a difficult conversation but we felt it was a necessary one for our university to have. I am reminded of the words of Professor Sir Geoff Palmer, one of our report’s external advisers, who often says while you can’t change the past, you can change their consequences. This is the story of our journey to do this to further enhance awareness and understanding of our history and the University’s connections to both historical slavery and the abolitionist movement.”

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies and co-signatory to the MoU, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement and look forward to working with the University of Glasgow and to making the Centre for Development Research a significant, successful and long-lasting partnership.”