JIS: The University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) will be observing the 12th annual Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education Week from March 6-10 under the theme ‘Enhancing and Sustaining a Quality Culture: Preparing for Institutional Accreditation’.

 

Executive Director of the UCJ, Althea Heron, said the week will highlight the role of the Council as the national External Quality Assurance Agency for tertiary education.

 

She said activities will focus on preparing tertiary institutions to deliver quality programmes.

 

“The UCJ recognises the diversity and creativity of tertiary institutions that operate in Jamaica and the need for a change in basic thinking with regards to quality assurance.

 

“Therefore, what we are looking at is to help institutions establish their internal quality-assurance systems so they are able to self-regulate and, therefore, work towards ensuring they maintain a robust quality-assurance system that ensures excellence, transparency, integrity and adherence to minimum standards,” she pointed out.

 

The UCJ will host workshops for assessors and accreditation officers on March 7; and for tertiary institutions at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston on Wednesday, March 8, and the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville on Thursday, March 9.

 

Vice President of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education – New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in the United States, Dr. Carol Lynn Anderson, will be the facilitator for the workshops.

 

She has more than 25 years’ experience in enhancing strategic and institutional effectiveness, and her career spans several senior professional roles and includes extensive consultancy work.

 

In addition to the workshops, the UCJ will publish newspaper supplements in the two major local newspapers on March 6 and 8.

 

Mrs. Heron said at the end of the week, the participating institutions should have a better understanding of the difference between institutional and programme accreditation.

 

She added that they should also be able to establish the importance of internal quality assurance in preparing for institutional accreditation as well as improve the quality of the self-study report that is used to evaluate the institution against minimum standards.

 

CAPTION: Executive Director of the UCJ, Althea Heron